History of the West Indies and French Guiana

Gabriel DEBIEN


Note colonial history 210bis






extracted from: History of the West Indies and French Guiana

under the direction of Pierre Pluchon

Edition Privat 1982

pages 141-161



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Genealogy and History of the Caribbean


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THERE is no greater paradox undertake to speak as slaves in colonial times almost nobody has seen their lives and that they are still white – settlers or managers of plantations, colonial administrators, and few travelers – which give us some information about them.Because the slaves are nearly silent. We may therefore consider the same side. The limitations of our sources are all narrow and does not inspire confidence.
Whites, we see individuals, the end point of their fortunes, their careers particularly happy sugar, coffee, traders, craftsmen, managers or their adventures and misfortunes, slaves can not see anything, not even sketch their ethnic groupings. Known only for very few specific slaves. Almost all of us have become so deeply that anonymous ultimately concluded that one plantation to another, even to a Caribbean colony to another, the conditions of life were similar or at least do not although large differences, which can not be true.
It is said that the operation of our islands was first provided by committed, these whites without resources for their passage, leased to farmers for three years. Slaves, more numerous, have replaced grew when the cultivation of indigo and especially sugar. The facts were not so simple. There were slaves at the beginning of our islands, have never committed themselves to the work of the insured land. They were never that senior teams of slaves as laborers: coopers, carpenters, bricklayers, gunsmiths, and they were less numerous as blacks have multiplied and have been prepared for careers necessary for the operation of plantations.


The ethnic origins of the black population of our Caribbean are complex. Trafficking has not been systematically developed starting from the western tip of the African coast, extending to the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea, then reaching the Congo and Angola. From the mid-seventeenth century, slaves from side edges of Senegal, there are Aradas from Dahomey, Mines of Ghana and many Angolas. Brunetti, in his memoir of 1660, said they bought slaves “to the kingdom of Angola” and along the coast of Guinea, and P. Pelleprat specifies the ethnic complexity of slaves: “The Negroes are being transported to the islands of various nations in Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea, Senegal and some other lands adjacent to the sea is account in the islands until thirteen nations of different languages. ”
But never stop supplying slaves in the eighteenth century, Bambara, Tacouas, Cotocolis, Coromantins, Judas, and Ayos Nagos Eastern and Western Ibos lower Niger, were there arrived by large groups of Aradas then after 1770 the Congos, purchased mostly by coffee growers.
Only after 1774, the qu’apparaîtront Mozambiques. They came over 40000? They will never be very numerous in workshops, remains unpopular due to their small size, their constitution and their rather weak trend marronage.
Note that all these tribes are the only coast and came from distant lands Bambara by the Senegal River, the Hausa of Nigeria and some top individuals from ethnic groups of the Niger bend. If one refers to their names, some of them are Muslims, they do not appear to have been in our islands groups. The proportion of early Creole, that is to say, slaves born in the colony, was important. A Guyana in 1678, the Christmas candy of 104 slaves, a third of Creoles, in 1760, the candy Rochalard over 212 slaves, two-thirds are Creole. It is far from being well on all plantations, but it is much more than a trend, especially sweets.


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Organization of task s
These men carried the West Indies as forced labor, it is the first work that retain our attention.
Upon their arrival, they are mostly acquired by settlers and taken immediately to the plantations, some by merchants for their use or committed domestic or artisans for their maneuvers.
Was poorly observed slaves towns and villages, probably because they were fewer and they were considered a marginal population. However, the deeds of sale, lease, or learning postage, wills, inventories townhouses, that are found in the notarial minutes, would do. Among them, those who work as laborers in teams of masons, carpenters, coopers, occur most often in the eyes, but rather obscurely because their tasks are entangled with those of free blacks, mulattos, those of white artisans. Many of those who were hired by the month or year, living wages which they had to put that part of their master, could become quasi-autonomous in the middle of free people of color. They escaped for a time monitoring methodical planters. Among these slaves that left city is rent against an annuity, we talk mostly seamstresses, laundresses, nurses, vendors and retail tafia pacotilleuses who managed to accumulate a little money and buy their freedom.
The largest number of new would work on plantations in the plains of sweets and indigo in the hills on the coffee. But on all farms and all the islands, they are distributed into three groups: the Grand’Case slaves or servants, laborers, slaves also known as garden land, place or spade, workers who were agriculture.
Domesticity boxes masters was smaller than the legend says. It corresponded roughly with the best houses in France. What was surprising is that it was not always proportionate to the importance of plantations expanded on comparatively small than large, because it was there to enhance the prestige of the Creole family, to front . When the “home” was directed by a manager, she was much smaller.
Grand’Case for men are chosen well done, happy character. No nations favorite and despite what has been said, no more than other Senegalese, but with balance of Creole. The few people of color,


the new fees sometimes arrived from Africa who learn Creole serving.
The roles there was specific: the kitchen is always a man with his cook, a valet for the table, running errands and check often.The woman had a colon maid, who was at the same time seamstress and dressmaker, then the nurse children. When she was happy, and the children were attached to him, it is kept in Grand’Case until his death. The nurse and the supervisor of the youngest children of slaves were often treated as servants. All stayed longer in the grand square as men, a fault: a flight, a replica insolent was easily return “garden.”
All these servants were privileged because they received gifts, gratuities, gifts, old clothes, old dresses at Christmas. They were able to have some money, but for men there was the rum and gambling, women jewelry, toiletries, trinkets. However, the maids, best men of Grand’Case, managed to build up a nest egg. In all, the food was prepared in the kitchen. They lived apart, away from the other slaves, mostly they do not “down” in the garden in case of extreme necessity, the stronger the roulaison when you cut sugar cane or at the time of collection coffee when the weather threatened. Rarely seen chastise servants and little escape.
Between domestic and one “workshop” agricultural workers. They accounted for about a tenth of the overall effective plantations. So they were quite numerous, as were many specific tasks.
First the cabrouetiers cabrouetiers ox and mule. Coffee on the hills where the trail took the place of roads, mule replaced the cabrouetiers. Then came the coopers, blacksmiths, masons, carpenters and machoquier who was both a locksmith and gunsmith of hattiers or guardians of livestock rearing pens, and all the guards cane fields of food, the lock and the sprinklers when the plantation was irrigated, all these teams, each with its leader or commander, the number of workers varies naturally with the importance of the plantation.
Sweets had their team attached to sugar cane mill, with a leader who was often a white man. Their care work in the manufacture of sugar; millers who ensured the smooth running of the mill furnaces drivers, porters fuel (bagasse or straw sticks past the mill and dried), the actual sugar which was entrusted the “cooked” the juice of cane. This group of workers who reconstructed every season of cutting canes or roulaison was reinforced by men


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the garden doubled night shifts or pounded sugar loaves in the oven went to put in barrels and shipped. Among all these workmen had men of color. More slaves, the more their work was carefully supervised.
All the workers of the garden houses were distributed in three workshops according to their robustness: the large workshop which was destined to the most arduous tasks, cutting sticks, stitching plants, “search” of the earth, transport of materials, etc.. ..only men comprised the usual, the second workshop where we saw mostly women, to lighter tasks, but almost as exacting in their monotony, weeding in particular, the small workshop finally loaded smoking canes or feet coffee. Saw themselves convalescents, weak children. Large workshops were sometimes made that provisionally the second and larger workshops often worked together.
There were large differences between the work of those sweets and coffee and indigo, these softer. The workshops provided were more sweets, more rigorously disciplined monitored much more closely. The proportion of coffee led by their masters was greater than sweets. Of these works very tiring, as digging land, make deep holes for planting canes, returning every year on a part or another, while the feet of coffee once had more land to be weeded or replaced when they fail. The coffee, the biggest tasks were related to the extension of new crops at the expense of the cantons wooded clearing, digging and planting. Picking “cherries” although tiring was not to compare the work of roulaison.
There were few settlers who had only to deal with their slaves, except on small plantations. When they lived on their property, they helped a supervisor, a steward. When the colon does not lie, he entrusted the management of his plantation to a prosecutor who kept the accounts, made large purchases, especially of slaves, decided construction or repairs done. As a manager he led the work, was holding slaves ensured their discipline. They were there to go to the plantation as possible for the benefit of owners, it was. It does not change very often, unlike the efficient and supervisors who were just passing through. Underpaid, unknown to the master when he did not lie, the lower cadres of plantations were the enemies of both slaves and settlers.
Between the master or between the manager and the slaves was placed the commander. It was at the beginning Blanc, committed recruited for this purpose. At the end of


Seventeenth century, Black replaced him. He was responsible for the work and discipline of slaves. Great authority left him for it. As he knew their ethnicity, their age, their health, we can say that their spirit and attendance depended on the commander. It was the center of the performance. Also did not change one Commanders in any extremity. His stature, his strength, his sense of command did not choose preference of “nation”, or age. However, it is in this function very often Creoles, even as new commanders in second, but almost never mulattoes.
Job logs kept by the managers we are keeping pace overall for the day slaves. This is exactly the same time on all plantations properly set.
About 5 hours, the day, the West Indies, rises throughout the year at about the same time, slaves were called by the bell of the plantation, the conch shell or horn commander says: a revival of barracks. A prayer began the day that followed the call. Then rose the steward names of patients who were unavailable and recorded their box until the passage of the surgeon.
On some plantations lunch before we leave for work in other fields it was in about 7 hours. Everything depended on the distance. It was the group commander at the back was the least shake and move as slowly as possible.
Slaves working online, the commander again behind the regularity of the progression and ease of monitoring.
At noon, a break of two hours or an hour and a half . When the piece of cane or coffee was not too far from the boxes, lunch and we returned slaves could go to their gardens, but when the room was far away, an old negress, remained in boxes to prepare meals, ‘brought to the workers.
The afternoon is often changed field. Sunset marked the return time, but before everyone had to pick up a package of grass for the animals remained tethered or wood for cooking tonight. We would never go home empty handed and there was this packet inspection on arrival. After the evening meal brief prayer and appeal. To go down on another plantation was the commander in principle be prevented. The night was free.


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A season on the roulaison sweets, tasks were particularly difficult to cut and to package and tie rods on cabrouets to put bagasse drying, to cram the box to store used fuel and feed the furnaces of the sugar, stir in the tanks for the juice of cane, the cane juice.
The coffee, the work was never as intense or as strict monitoring because of the fragmentation of the work of preparing coffee.Parts in the practice of imposing baskets by the daily task of collecting seeds reduced monitoring.
When, at the time of cutting cane or picking coffee, the weather was threatening all the slaves were put to the fields, increasing domestic workers and men in the garden. Sunday morning was not a time of rest. These hours were devoted to picking potatoes or yams, threshing corn, distribution of salt or salted for the provision of the week.
Every day, sometimes two or three times a day, the colon, the manager or steward would be aware of the progress of work. He never had to do it slow. On the report of the commander or manager colon was evening distribute punishment, whippings and nights in the chain. Careful growers to better monitor the work and industrialization in some way made uniform size of their parts cane or coffee. They came in and asked how many days the “search” land, planting, weeding, cutting cane or picking coffee. It had before him the example of previous years. But despite these calculations are not able to regulate efforts because labor was never exactly the same from one year to another. There were more or less sick, unavailable, chestnut slave tasks hijacked by unexpected deaths not replaced for several months. Then there was always the highest possible return for not being below the best year. It exhausted him and the slaves, even when there was no new pieces of cane or coffee planting.
It was the rain was very strong so we did not go to the fields. In case of bad weather, an old sack on his shoulders was to protect ordinary or high light ajoupa foresight used by settlers shelter in the corner of a room. A shot of rum, in turn, could. Warm men and women.
An examination of job logs shows that tried to vary tasks throughout the season the greatest works. Thus, when we see the roulaison settlers spend the morning then cut canes while the afternoon


is weeding or digging the earth for planting young canes, or the first day of the week for cutting and the rest for planting.
The lives of slaves
The food of slaves was not exactly the same throughout the colonial period, or in the islands or even in Santo Domingo in all neighborhoods. In the seventeenth century, Cassava is an important form of flour you put in all hot kitchens or is made a galette – cassava – which served bread, and could keep for several days. It sometimes added meats – beef heads, turtles, cod and herring in places potatoes.
In the following century, cassava is not as universally consumed or salting, except cod. In their place are growing potatoes, tayaux, corn, peas, but perhaps especially millet and bananas. It depends on the habits of each area and elevation. Potato tends to simplify food. Poultry, Cabrits, land crabs and shoreline fish and some shells are sometimes used as extras.
The large number of laws to ensure the adequacy of food, increased testing-imported plants to provide more food and more regular side indicate that agricultural work was always very neglected and frequent famines. Misfortunes were severe droughts and torrential rains or avalasses which drowned the crops. For example Guadeloupe lost at the end of 1776 and in 1777 more than 11,000 slaves in the wake of a hurricane that destroyed the food, and yet another hurricane in 1778 a lot in December. In Leogane, Santo Domingo, the young steward Regnault de Beaumont, whose father is a colon indigo wrote on March 1, 1776: “Negroes are starving, there is no point of food and soil to buy “.
It was thought that by giving the slaves a small private garden and Saturday afternoon to cultivate, they would be able to eat without being resorted to rations. But the test succeeds only on very few plantations. We realized we could not let the slaves themselves for their food in the plantations. Their small garden


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remained , but the last plantations continue to maintain parts “common food”, potatoes, millet, bananas, where all the slaves worked as garden on the cane fields and coffee in the rooms. Weekly potatoes were picked, peas picked to be distributed to each box. In case of scarcity we tried to buy a supply of biscuit or rice.
On some plantations they had as much concern for sufficient supply of slaves on the sugar Galbaud Fort from Leogane.According to the manager there however often fail food “Leogane, June 26, 1786. – Since 15 current, I absolutely lack of food. I can not find me if not get rice that I give to new blacks. I stopped making rum to support others with syrup. Despite this workshop suffers and I suffer more in demand work. Rather it is the need that the disease which leads many to the hospital. I wish though some maize and small-mil I distributed was sufficient to wait for potatoes which I can not count earlier than six weeks. ”
To conclude, in all the islands slaves were still poorly nourished constantly undernourished by the lack of fresh meat in their ordinary food and the exaggerated importance of carbohydrates in the diet. There was the black point constant in their lives.
On the eve of the Revolution, a settler in Santo Domingo we described the accommodation of his slaves:
“The negroes boxes form a small village in each plantation. They are aligned, made of wood and covered well. They30 feet long and 16 wide, are composed of a kitchen, a bathroom, an office and a bedroom. The boxes are given to a family. ”
It was a philanthropist or colon wanted to go to be or was a novelist, because we are inventories of plantations under the eyes another reality. Boxes-slaves were still small, rarely two parts. A building, always light, more or less long, housed several households, each enjoying only a span in fact one piece by a divided tray, the kitchen is always making out. For a long time, the slave huts on small, medium and even large plantations were spread without much order, alignment only became common when they are built by entrepreneurs like other buildings. Could better monitor, discipline and stick to them


returned less expensive, but we walked away habits Africa. This provision is especially developed in Santo Domingo. In Martinique and Guadeloupe was retained longer the old dispersal.
Erected by masons or not, the boxes were particularly fragile, their roofs still slight and a bad rainy season, a strong gust of wind, crevassaient their walls made of wattle filled with earth or squared timber and non poorly bound, basking, plants outweighed their roof. They remained some time in good condition. They were repaired after long months of complaints and, instead of restoring them, they preferred to wear elsewhere, which means the state in which they had left as long as possible. At the end of the eighteenth century it was a major step forward to cover essentes or small boards.
Ground inside the clay bed is a mattress filled with leaves, set on a rack, made mandatory by settlers and the administration to avoid the evils caused by moisture, some Couis and gourds for dishes, half a barrel for the provision of potatoes, a jar, one or two boilers, and in the most careful, a safe place where Sunday clothes.
The Reaping
We often talk about punishments were inflicted on slaves and we think that is the center of their lives. The question is important, but let’s face on this point our ignorance, because if we know the punishment of slaves, it often fails to accurately and know their causes and the conditions that surround it: the character of the slave , the colon or the Manager and the Commander. And again we have only the testimony of settlers and more often testimonies of managers.
The punishment was the lightest bar: a heavy wooden beam sawn lengthwise, two holes where the feet were involved in the slave to interfere. It was like living a more severe military police. Ordinarily it is necessary for the night. Patients lightweight hospital, who were on a diet, were also placed at the bar, that is to say, they should stand recorded for quiet and isolated from their families not wanting to give them food .
Whip punishment was universal because it is adapted to all fouls: 10 or 20 rounds for pilfering, but 50 or more over two or three days to return a marronage which was brief. The number of strokes depended not only the fault, but the robustness of the subject, age, seniority on the plantation, sometimes sex, women appear to have been less heavily punished than men. How they gave the whip could be


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one more serious punishment. Being whipped up not achieving the honor of the slave, but it was a shame to be on the back, lying down and attached to the wrists and ankles.
To the hardness of some teachers who multiplied lashes all day and made the work impossible or mutilated and slaves, called the order of the managers of December 1784 would impose a maximum penalty shots and fixed by 50. But it was applied as accurately as any other. During the American war in 1782, Darot, Governor of Tobago, was punished with 200 lashes a slave who had completed a sick soldier. The slave died. Estimated one hundred shots were likely to cause death. But you can still see in Martinique in 1838 and 1840 slaves punished by 100 lashes.
Chain and shackles followed the resumption of a brown party for many weeks, or a major theft or bodily injury given to another slave, sometimes an abortion. A single chain, you could add a ball, the “runt” very heavy, that the slave had to wear a walking day and night, in the box at work. Lashes, more or less numerous, were introduced to these punishments.
Specific faults had their special punishment. And inveterate thieves cane and potatoes eaters could be forced to wear a mask unbearable sheet and repeat chestnuts, an iron collar fitted with long spikes which made it very difficult to hide in the thickets.Chestnuts are included with necklaces of this kind. Had to wear a large piece of wood on the back until their next pregnancy, mothers who had had an abortion or lack of care, it was thought, had lost their newborn.
The late eighteenth century in Santo Domingo, but especially in Martinique and Guadeloupe, we applied the penalty of jail, at least the most important plantations. It was a vault, the walls thick, low door, arched or covered with heavy beams, the dark interior.The slave was there in irons or bar. A settler from Guadeloupe to a mulatto locked for 22 months.
It seems never to have applied the question, but have often punished by the imposition of additional work hard, in the evening, or have held in the garden on Sunday, or simply planting. Slaves were very sensitive: the punishment.
The most that could be given to a servant Grand’Case and even a worker was to be “down” at work in the garden, even for commanders, but there is recourse in cases extremes.


“I can not ignore the cruelty towards their black population, writes Knight Cotignon. I agree that it is necessary to come to examples, but finally they are men and nature is for them and for us. Could we not punish humanity? … I still remember with pleasure the notion that I made one day hunting in the vicinity of Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. I suddenly heard through small bushes of the complaints I tore the heart. I approach the place where they left. I see a bunch of hungry birds to escape. I pulled over and killed one.But what was my surprise to see an iron cage in which was a negro blood while these birds devoured. This horrified me and I think if at the time the inhabitants who had condemned this kind of death was presented, I would have killed him. The poor man implored my help and it did not ask me. A force to shake the bars and stoned, I managed to snatch him from his grave and give him freedom. He kissed my hand and ran away. There were already two days he was there, without eating or drinking, his arms behind his back and legs in a circle of iron. I do not know what was his crime, but he deserved death, could not give the refinement of cruelty.
Creoles generally have a hard heart and a bit of their negroes away from his duty, chabouc is not spared. ”
The number of patients on the plantations attracted the attention of early settlers. At the end of the seventeenth century, slaves diseases are an important correspondence with the Minister Fagon, the king’s physician, who sent a memorandum to those prevailing in Martinique.
It was first noticed qu’apportaient diseases in Africa “new”, yaws, geophagia, dysentery and smallpox was said or from Africa.
Yaws reached a very large number of slaves, it was a skin disease which was supposed to venereal very contagious. It affected mainly the lower limbs, hip, elbow creases, had ulcers round, crusted with pruritus as a chancre and temperature. All the houses were crowded with “pianists”. It installed small infirmaries for them, but they were more nursing homes that care, they were isolated cases-Negroes. However we could not get rid of yaws, even after the transition to soporific.
Correspondence managers we maintain primarily patients who are retained longer in the “hospital” planting or whose care is the most expensive.
Dabord venereal diseases that weakened both workshops. We rarely had the desire to keep these patients on a “place” isolated.Intense publicity in the newspapers made the colonial eighteenth century powders, syrups, teas and lozenges that cured these diseases invariably tells us alone frequency. Baths, enemas, purges, passages treatment


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mercurial discounts to surgeons with more entrepreneurs healing package, occassionnaient spending more important than all other diseases, including yaws, as large as the whole of the food on some plantations.
Managers talk a lot about parasites brought by slave traders. They attribute their poor suites miles wide variety which “stop making trouble,” but we never knew to prevent it or get rid of.
Epidemics often returned, dysentery and smallpox in particular. Dysentery remained a somewhat mysterious evil because they raged burst without causes well known. When we could not attribute their departure point landing new, we do not see often sourced locally. Smallpox called Verrette had it, mostly in Africa. The practice of inoculation, appeared in 1745, reduced the evil, but she was very expensive – a louis topic – and it was far from widespread in 1789.
Designated putrid fevers do not they both dysentery and typhoid? They spoke little yellow fever. We never managed to extricate geophagia certainly brought from Africa. It caused many deaths, even among children. The rest are in some cases still regret today, Guadeloupe.
Long islands, “evil jaw” was attributed to criminal maneuvers matrons plantations. Many newborns die, and always in the days immediately following birth. This was an effect of umbilical tetanus. After 1770, it came to be more correct views, and taking more attention to the surroundings of birth, isolating it could diminish the evil, but never remove them completely.
Without making them unavailable for work, ulcers in the legs or feet – or sickly crabs – reduced forces slaves. We always believed that venereal sores.
Farmers complain of a fairly common disease whose symptoms they describe us and that we can not identify: the “stomach ache.” New above were met and they never seem to heal. She was also known as the “stagnation” of “wasting disease”, “dissolution”. General fatigue, heavy head, the marked epigastric pain. Patients refused to eat, wanted to stay in bed, dozed. They could not work. Followed tremors, general puffiness, then death. Can you think of hookworm?
Coffee on the hills, the cold was very painful the slaves, except at night and again! were no longer covered as sweets plain,


oû of endless coughing, bronchitis, fevers slow. Often, “pulmoniques” come to the hospital. One thinks of tuberculosis.
If we stick to the statements of managers and hospital logs or work, the proportion of patients was considerable, at least 15% of the shops in ordinary times, and much more in times of epidemic. It is true that we came easily to the hospital and that the statement of the managers to distant owners is to be construed. They often have an interest in inflating the proportion of patients to conceal misappropriation of workers to their advantage.
From the time of P. Labat, we started to book on a few large plantations, a check for the sick. It was bigger than all the others, but very specific provisions, only isolated while remaining in the vicinity of the Grand’Case who could monitor. Gradually the practice spread to. The hospital grew, was provided by a nurse, “the hospital.”
It was not ideal for the P. Labat. He wished to see established in every district a special hospital for slaves held by the Brothers of Charity. They were treated better than on the plantations, and the expense would have been less. But this was only ever a vow.
These infirmaries were still planting hardy. They offered at least two rooms, one for men and one for women. Y was subsequently installed a small central room where the nurse put on a stove to prepare herbal remedies and keep hot food, and a bathtub. Each patient was bed-de-camp with a bench, sometimes with sheets. Bar was always there with his lock. The pharmacy was most reduced: a few pots which were kept simple for herbal teas, and a syringe.
Diet and discipline were entrusted to the hospital: no spices, especially chili no devil, not cured, but bread, a glass of wine every day, rice and fresh meat in the form of boiled. Rarely milk. The hospital was often at the same time midwife.
The surgeon came to visit every day or twice a week according to the conventions and the number and severity of disease. His care were paid package, but with extra, especially in case of accidents, always numerous.
Ill never stayed long in the hospital, suggesting that many of them were there mainly to rest after great fatigue. But it is surprising that newspapers do not report hospital often death, which deprives us of information capital.


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It is not believed to address here the question of the religion of slaves, because the evidence is often contradictory and superficial. Code black imposed their baptism, and they were brought to be baptized. It was a feast for them and their godfather and godmother had great authority over them. On some parishes were baptized after a long period of religious instruction, they also received baptism soon after their arrival. Few were not baptized. They did make common prayer morning and evening, one for the king and “Monseigneur the Dauphin.” In Santo Domingo was almost their whole religious life except Cape where there was “a priest of Negroes,” specifically responsible minister to them. Except in cities and those who served on a plantation plain enough near the center of the parish, they do little to attending Mass, as we learn from the job logs. They almost never approached the sacraments in Santo Domingo, even of death. Little married. On some plantations where the woman lay colon, she taught the rudiments of the catechism, but the case was rare. The clergy considered especially as the clergy whites. This exception must be made, however, the Jesuits (1704-1764) in the North, who were very active among blacks and were able to withstand the pressure of the settlers.Unbaptized slaves were buried in a corner of Savannah, the other after being carried by their comrades in the church. In Martinique the priest would give the last rites to the seriously ill and the master as a reward paid burial of slaves to regular life.
We know almost nothing of Voodoo from the colonial era. It also seems to have developed from the Revolution. The settlers spoke little and with many errors. They retained most dances. It is curious that outside of Moreau de Saint-Méry, who devotes a few pages in 1797 to Ducœurjoly in 1802 and in 1809 Descourtils, Mazère; Drouin de Bercy, Colonel Malenfant, Joinville-Guban do we have shown in 1814.
Paths to Freedom
No matter discussed more than the flight of slaves from marronage as it was, no doubt because it is poorly understood and the sources of its history is sketchy. We do not agree on the number of


” brown “, their proportion in the general workforce of slaves on the grounds of their escape on the part of those who were taken and even the attitude of the planters.
First, the word is open to interpretation. Some hear only marronage by great bands against which was of battered and even military expeditions. For others, any “desertion” of the workshop, even for a few days or several weeks, was the marronage.
Attention has retained the general marronage, one whose governors and district commanders maintain the Minister. It is great and it’s effect on him that wrote without knowing how these bands were formed, how long they lasted, nor their living area. We do foresee only through brief reports of the commanders of shipment. These hunts are never succeeded as intended, killing a few slaves, bringing some prisoners. These bands were well dispersed, but regrouped after die sometime. Ever these reports are very detailed.
Chestnuts appear to have been more likely to Santo Domingo in the Lesser Antilles, probably because of the refuge that were the extent of the island and close to the Spanish.
But the great marronage was the least important part leaks. The most numerous are those brown shown in the statements of planting, taking possession. These fugitives by any individual or small groups. Settlers specify whether they are accidental cases or “brown hardcore”, which leave a few days after their decision and that nothing can draw good. They do not worry about it too much. But evil is all quarters, almost all plantations, the colon was there or manager.
Very rarely seen fleeing households or women with a child. Moreover, women are not marrones fifth of men. These “deserters”, how will they know find a band more or less next door? Isolated, they can live more easily near the plantation, and in harmony with it, and take it into account.
In the seventeenth century there are many death sentences. They become rare then the penalties are nuanced by type of marronage and circumstances that accompany it. On 20 June 1672, the Supreme Council of Martinique punished with death a brown that remained outside for three years, but had, during his flight a year colony was established after which the slaves came from less than a year and included brown would be convicted that whip. It was approved for general use. The same year, 1672, the chestnuts again within two months that followed their flight would receive


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decided the Supreme Council, the whip and the mark of a fleur de lis. When marronage had been longer, they would lose an ear, and they cut off a leg if they had been absent for more than six months. But this fee schedule was rather theoretical because it was the teachers to apply the punishment. All this was the result of a particular justice, discipline planting. Settlers applied what seemed the best punishment in their eyes, so to belittle the slave as possible, not to diminish its strength. In fact, the punishment was arbitrary.
At the end of the eighteenth century, marronage was not as severely punished as before: the whip, chain a week, deprivation Sunday punishments were the most ordinary marronage small, even when there was recurrence. It was otherwise when the absence was long, that the fugitive had been taken with a weapon or was away on a boat to win a foreign island. It was then that there was sedition, so crime.
We étampait slaves to easily identify brown when they were taken. The name or initials of the name of their masters were printed hot on their chests, brand disgraceful in their eyes. It was not customary to mark all. Creoles were spared, servants and people of color, but sometimes new, but not in general use absolute. The greater punishment of a slave was not stamped again be marked immediately.
New found themselves in large numbers among the chestnuts. They escaped after their landing or in the weeks that followed and, as the late eighteenth century, it was the Congolese who arrived more numerous, it is among their ethnic groups that include the most chestnuts. Would then Mozambiques, Africa Southeast including trafficking, however, was much less abundant.
In its judgment of 12 September 1740, the Supreme Council of Cape Santo Domingo ordered the planters to register the flight of their slaves with their name, ethnicity, occupation, age and physical signaling. It sets the fee payable to the jailer for the time when the brown would have remained in jail. When, after 1763, these lists were published in the Gazette, was an idea of marronage, and even better when the lists were drawn up chestnuts again. But we can be an illusion, because it was mostly brown and districts around the Cape and Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo. Little brown on the part of the South et.les gazettes of Guadeloupe and Martinique for years before 1789 are almost all lost.
There has been little investigated the causes of marronage. We always saw the desire for freedom, independence general. It is difficult to know


exactly why so many slaves escaped. For new, they wanted to win the broad freedom to move at will. For others, it is obliged to refer the matter to say that managers and settlers, the only witnesses. Two reasons they seem particularly obvious first undernourishment and overwork, which basically amount to the same cause. Then the fear of punishment which they know threatened. There are others, and probably numerous, but less general, as an example, driving a comrade of the same nation, etc …But if you do not want to stick to what we learn from contemporary discussion will not stop, which is useless here.
Although the colonists had then all power to free the slaves, the proportion of freedmen in the seventeenth century wasinsignificant , as if the spirit of the whites was to limit their number as much as possible, as if they foresaw not in the future a colonial society with a third class of men.
From the beginning of the next century, we perceive a new policy limiting the postage, which limit the power of the master. No doubt we will react against the drawbacks of the general development of the free class, especially against the release too many women of color concubines settlers. The administration claimed control releases by requiring owners to seek permission to free their slaves. Settlers miners no longer have the opportunity to free their slaves, and individual, group important. And that was only the beginning: a tax was imposed, quite heavy from the start. Then the reason for the request for authorization must be specified, and the grounds were reduced.
Despite these limitations, the population continued to increase free. But the multiplication of slave trafficking by hiding reality.Besides, it was not the number of free blacks who grew, but that people of color and especially the free mulattoes. The number of free blacks was always restricted because they did not like people of color ways to pick up the savings necessary for their redemption, that the administration never saw elsewhere favorably.
Two causes for the rapid multiplication of the free: first their demographics. They had more children than slaves, not because they probably married more than slaves, but because the infant and child mortality raged less home. Then because we turned the regulations which imposed a license fee and, contenting himself a freedom is not official. The settlers, who lived on the plantation, standing


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to free their mouvenents of their work. These free living on the plantation, not a garden, but rations. Their children were kept free for all. We realized the considerable number of these “free savannah”, when forced to make all their free postage as the priests and notaries. But you can not see the effectiveness of the measure.
From the beginning, it was competition and jealousy. The free people of color began to engage in trades hitherto exercised exclusively by whites: masons, carpenters, wheelwrights, or occupied certain positions when they clung to a plantation, sugar and distillers example. But they were never Commanders: workshops have caught fire.
Upward social mobility, which was slow, then appeared inevitable. It was a general increasing competition. They made every effort to polish the delay and limit now they doubled or replaced whites in the most lucrative business: hairdressers, tailors, shoemakers, assemblers sugar mills, entrepreneurs. They began to blame them not to focus on the cultures, even food, and concentrate in towns and cities, pillars taverns and gambling house without their permission that was needed to quite a few men of color were able to go to France, where they acquired a profession more “statement yet,” watchmakers, bakers, hatters and income to the islands, they enthroned above all their class, taking some shop . Women were engaged in occupations related to the work of the house laundresses, seamstresses, laundresses, of rum retail market, or were “housewives” or unmarried settlers moved to the islands without their wives.
If they do not spend the cultures, it was not because they did not own land. Certainly, in plain, they had not much, at least in Santo Domingo, there stood sweets. But in the neighborhoods of the hills, they could boast very high concessions. Ownership grew well, and they occupied whole cantons undeveloped. Whites are very concerned about the extent of their rights and settlers, when they sold their plantation, imposed on the purchaser clause not to sell to a mulatto. But did not have enough free slaves, or enough credit to make sweets. Their labor was their main family helped some slaves. Clearly seen in Guadeloupe, where the end of the eighteenth century and the first third of the nineteenth century, are kept inventories of many plantations of colored men. They grow only coffee and small squares, or raise livestock or livestock of any resale of the mules.


This antagonism remains a war filled until 1789, but whites will never lose sight of the issue. The Revolution will turn these social opposition to war policy, including civic equality of people of color with the settlers will be the big goal for the first three years.
1794 was officially made a general release, but in the midst of such circumstances – war with England throes of a civil war, financial difficulties of a colony cut off from the city – this release was a word for many slaves. Were not freed former slaves of the city, the military and those who escaped the plantations under whose regulations culture wanted to ensure performance by the discipline of residence and work required.
The British occupation of the West Indies helped us remained there until the Restoration the social status quo, that is to say, the subordination of color class and the survival of slavery, the metropolitan government supporting the attitude of the settlers.
But in the aftermath of the case Bissette and after 1830 especially people of color and settlers perceive a change. Places that people of color have taken the view that without France is offended, erase very slow but gradual color prejudice – outside ports – concerned the colonists who felt disapproved, isolated, shown finger. They saw that the government’s policy in July, providing the next general emancipation of slaves enough, prepared to avoid the great social unrest that we had to suffer in Santo Domingo. The Ministry and Chambers wanted slavery more humane, better regulated and less free class rejected to slavery. They recognized the dropper rights free in the militia, the army, the ranks of the judiciary. They showed what they become in the future if they continue to be supported openly by the metropolis.
The practical result was a more careful monitoring of the discipline on the plantations, better framed, but also an improvement in the material conditions of the lives of slaves. We cared more about their food, creolization new one arrived yet many of Africa until about 1831. We want punishment more aptly applied and judges intervene more often and in more detail than before. And even after 1840, the Government give the clergy for moral education, civic and religious non-free.
But in fact, slaves remained slaves until 1848, is said to have released.


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Long thesis Lucien Peytraud, Slavery in the French Antilles in the eighteenth century (Paris, 1897) summarized what was known about the essential question. It was a classic. It was unique and many of its chapters are excellent, but it is too often the sources of law, which are only wishes. History of slavery in the French colonies , Gaston Martin (Paris, 1948) is felt the haste in which the Centenary of the Abolition did write. Doctoral thesis in theology from P. Gisler, Slavery in the French Antilles, XVII-XIX centuries, contribution to the problem of slavery (Fribourg, 1965), opposes the theory of “Black Code” to the actual conditions of the lives of slaves, she knows the evil archives ( pp. 152-208, original chapters on the action of the clergy). Since then, efforts have been made to clarify the situation of slaves in student life on plantations (sugar: Galbaud Fort, La Barre, Barre de Saint-Venant, coffee Maulévrier Andrault).
G. Debien, “Sources of the history of slavery” ( Journal of Haitian hist ., 1967), “Archives of plantations” ( Bull. Soc. arch. Nantes , 1964); M. Delafosse, J. Houdaille, R. Massio, R. Richard, “The Origin of Slaves” ( Bull. Institute franc. Saharan Africa , Volumes XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXIX); G. Debien, “Food slaves …” ( Caribbean Studies , July 1964), “The Cases of slaves …” (Conjunction , April 1966), “The postage …” ( Annario de estudios americanos , XXV, 1967), “The Christianization of slaves” (Revue d’histoire Amer. Franc ., March and June 1967), “Intended slaves in Martinique (1746-1778)” ( Bull. Institut fr. Saharan Africa , 1960) and Ms. R. Siguret “Slave indigo and coffee district of Jacmel” ( Journal franc. d’hist. OM ., 1962, No. 2), G.Debien, “The slaves of the plantation Mauger in Santo Domingo” ( Bull. Soc. hist. Guadeloupe , No. 43-44, 1980); Geggus David, “The right to adequate housing of British slaves in Santo Domingo. An analysis of workforces of 197 absentee plantations, 1796-1797 ‘(CaribbeanStudies , April-June 1978).
On the flight of slaves: J. Fouchard Maroons freedom (Paris, 1972), who studied all reports of leaks and slave times from 1763 to 1789 published by the American posters , Y. Debbasch, “The Marronage. Test the desertion of the Caribbean slave “( year sociological , 1961 and 1962), only marronage by bands; G. Debien, “The marronage French West Indies in the eighteenth century” (Caribbean Studies , October 1966). These monographs were used in the synthesis of G. Debien, Slaves in the French Antilles in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Basse-Terre, Soc. d’hist. Guadeloupe, Fort-de-France, Soc. d’hist. Martinique, 1974).
There are still many issues to be considered: slavery in the seventeenth century, the religious life of the August 1791 uprising in Santo Domingo, the situation of people of color slaves wealth of free people of color, the abolitionist movement from 1815 to 1848, 1848 and 1849 in the French Antilles.


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