The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, adopted by the deputies of the French National Assembly on 26 August 1789, proclaimed that, “Men are born free and equal in rights.”[1] In practice, however, the Assembly did not apply the Declaration’s principles to France’s Caribbean colonies which continued black slavery and excluded the gens de couleur, a heterogeneous class of free blacks and mulattos, from the benefits of citizenship.[2] Despite lobbying by wealthy gens de couleur, metropolitan legislators feared that recognizing free-colored equality would undermine slavery and thus jeopardize the system of commodity production and overseas commerce which was so important to the French economy. When the Legislative Assembly overcame this reluctance on 28 March 1792 and declared that free men of color must be treated as equal citizens, its deputies hoped that Saint-Domingue’s gens de couleur, many of whom owned slaves themselves, would assist colonial authorities there in suppressing the slave revolt which had begun the previous August.[3] Despite the new law French colonists in the Caribbean, particularly the poor whites or petits Blancs, were even more reluctant than metropolitan deputies to consider free men of color their equals because this threatened the strict racial hierarchy on which colonial society was based.

The French Revolution nonetheless represented an opportunity for free people of color not only in Saint-Domingue but also in the Îles du Vent, the smaller islands in the Eastern Caribbean, of which the most important French colonies were Martinique and Guadeloupe. Recent scholarship has emphasized the independent agency of both slaves and gens de couleur in the Îles du Vent, but there has been less consensus on the extent to which demands for equal rights overlapped with the struggle for freedom. If the demands of free people of color in these colonies before 1789 seemed negligible compared to those of Saint-Domingue, Léo Élisabeth argued that was only because of their smaller numbers: they were aware of the ideological debates in metropolitan France over slavery and recognized the connection to their own status. After Martinique and Guadeloupe learned of the revolution’s outbreak in France, gens de couleur supported the colonies’ planter “aristocrats” in their political struggle against the petit Blanc “patriots.” This alliance resulted from autonomy rather than passivity, according to Élisabeth, and free-colored support for slavery was not unconditional. The gens de couleur abandoned planter royalists at the end of 1792 when the new Republic offered a surer guarantee of equality. Free people of color made different political choices, however, and Élisabeth insisted that these were determined more by circumstances than by whether they owned slaves.[4] Concentrating on Guadeloupe, Anne Pérotin-Dumon offered a similar analysis of free-colored action and political consciousness. The planter’s social conservatism and the declining access to cheap new land generated frustration among gens de couleur, but the revolution offered new opportunities to make claims on Guadeloupe’s constituted authorities. If some free coloreds supported planters against the patriots in hopes of integrating with whites, Pérotin-Dumon argued that others appealed to slaves to overthrow white domination.[5] Laurent Dubois went even further and contended that the actions of black and colored insurgents in the French colonies transformed the abstract language of universal rights. While he agreed that Guadeloupe’s gens de couleur took advantage of conflict among whites to press for racial equality, he emphasized the significance of the slave revolt at Trois-Rivières in April 1793. Dubois argued that the rebels, who described themselves as “citizens” and claimed they had killed masters who had tried to arm them against the patriots, forcibly integrated themselves into the Republic. After this episode, free people of color favored a radical broadening of citizenship that foreshadowed the abolition of slavery in 1794.[6] In contrast to this interpretation, Frédéric Régent argued that the revolution did not radically transform society in Guadeloupe. The colony’s gens de couleur were less militant than those of Saint-Domingue before 1789 not only because of limited numbers, but because of the strength of their client relations to white planters. In the context of complex and enduring racial hierarchy, Régent suggested that it was those who had been free before 1789 who became fully integrated into republican society. If some sided with white radicals in 1793, most colored republicans also wanted to maintain slavery.[7]

This disagreement on the extent of free-colored willingness to extend rights to black slaves indicates the ambiguity of the relationship between the French Revolution and the gens de couleur. In this context, local revolutionary politics in the Îles du Vent complicated white responses to the demand for free-colored equality after 1789. If white colonists resisted racial equality, at moments of crisis they saw free men of color as potential allies in their ruthless factional struggles to control the colonies. Martinique’s planter elite made common cause with gens de couleur against petit Blanc patriots in 1790, while refusing to accept their legal equality, and in 1792 sought their backing for a revolt against metropolitan authority. Representatives of the French Republic defeated this revolt in part by appealing to free men of color whose adherence became crucial to the new republican regimes in the Îles du Vent. Factional strife continued, however, and in 1793-94 Guadeloupe’s radicals undermined free-colored support for the new governor by challenging his commitment to racial equality. Examination of these crises suggests that while white colonists in Martinique and Guadeloupe qualified or even abandoned their opposition to free-colored equality in the heat of revolutionary conflict, their alliances with the gens de couleur were always intended to help control the servile labor force and maintain the slave system.

The gens de couleur were an intermediate group within colonial society who stood between the mass of black slaves and the white minority. The designation included freed slaves as well as the offspring of black slaves and white masters, although in the Îles du Vent the term mulatre, or mulatto, was used interchangeably with gens de couleur. Racial ambiguity was further complicated by different patterns of manumission.[8] Beyond differences in origin, the free people of color were a socially and economically heterogenous group: some lived on the margins of colonial society as subsistence farmers or poor laborers, while others owned property and slaves. The free-colored population rose during the eighteenth century and by 1789 there were approximately 5,235 gens de couleur in Martinique and 3,149 in Guadeloupe, constituting five and three per cent respectively of the colonies’ total populations.[9] While the free-colored percentage of Saint-Domingue’s population was much higher, colonial administration in the Îles du Vent nonetheless sought to control manumission in order to limit the numbers of gens de couleur. A broad range of racially restrictive legislation reflected not only concern about numbers, but also the expanding free-colored role in the colonial economy.1[10] At the same time, free men of color were the mainstay of the colonial militia which rounded up runaway slaves and protected the colonies against slave revolt.1[11] Yet white colonists expected gens de couleur to accept and to acknowledge their racial inferiority.1[12] On the eve of the French Revolution they were increasingly unwilling to do so. In 1789 Julien Raimond and Vincent Ogé came to Paris to demand equality for themselves and other colored planters from Saint-Domingue. The Société des Amis des Noirs, a group dedicated to abolishing the slave trade, supported their campaign.1[13] Rumors of these radical challenges to the colonial system raised hopes and fears in the Îles du Vent.

In September 1789 news of revolution in metropolitan France reached Martinique and Guadeloupe. Passengers and crews of merchant ships brought tricolor cockades and accounts of Louis XVI accepting one from the people of Paris.1[14] Residents of Saint-Pierre, Martinique’s main commercial port, embraced the revolutionary cause enthusiastically and insisted that all officials don the tricolor. Martinique’s governor-general, the comte de Vioménil, refused to sanction the cockade because he had received no official report of the revolution. He also recognized the dangerous implications of flaunting a symbol of liberty in a slave colony: in August rumors that the king had abolished slavery inspired a slave revolt in Martinique.1[15] Although he conceded to demands for the cockade, the colony’s “patriots” deemed Vioménil to be a “despot.”1[16] Tensions boiled over during celebrations of the revolution at the end of September. When the governor-general supported a request by free-colored militia to participate, citing their key role in putting down the slave revolt, he touched off riots in the town of Fort-Royal. In their aftermath, some patriots denounced Vioménil as a lover of colored people.1[17] The racist hostility of the petits Blancs helped to forge an alliance between free men of color, the governor-general and the wealthy planters who controlled Martinique’s colonial assembly. Saint-Pierre’s municipality, the patriots’ power-base, challenged the legitimacy of the assembly which in turn viewed patriots as a threat to the colony’s stability.1[18] The growing political strife came to a head in June 1790. Free-colored demands to participate in a Fête Dieu procession triggered popular violence in Saint-Pierre: crowds shot or hanged three white militia officers and fourteen colored troops, then threw sixty others in prison. The Gazette de la Martinique expressed patriot opinion when it justified the violence as a response to a mulatto conspiracy against whites: “It is evident that these rogues aspire to the quality of citizen.”1[19] Many gens de couleur fled to Fort-Royal where they appealed to the new governor-general, the vicomte de Damas, to prevent the massacre of those who had been imprisoned. The colonial assembly also urged Damas to intervene, contrasting the innocent gens de couleur to the guilty “brigands” of Saint-Pierre whose disorder threatened the colony.2[20] Consequently the governor-general marched his troops against Saint-Pierre, occupied the town and arrested over 200 designated troublemakers. Armed free men of color supported these operations.2[21]

This alliance continued following the escalation of Martinique’s political conflict to open civil war in September 1790. Patriots and mutinous soldiers seized control of the towns of Fort-Royal and Saint-Pierre, while Damas and members of the colonial assembly retreated to an interior stronghold under the protection of white and free-colored militia.2[22] Volunteers came from Guadeloupe to support the patriots, while that colony’s governor and assembly tried to stave off a similar outbreak of hostilities.2[23] The National Assembly sent a fleet to Martinique in March 1791 carrying troops and a new governor-general, the comte de Béhague, to end the civil war, along with four king’s commissioners to investigate its causes. These metropolitan forces ended the fighting, but they failed to resolve the colonies’ bitter divisions.2[24] Meanwhile the National Assembly equivocated on free-colored equality: on 15 May 1791 the deputies decreed that gens de couleur born of free fathers and free mothers be admitted to primary assemblies, but then reversed this decision on 24 September when they decreed that colonial assemblies could determine the political status of all men of color.2[25] It was not until March 1792 that the Legislative Assembly’s more radical decree, insisting that all free blacks and mulattos enjoy equal political rights, threatened the alliance between gens de couleur and planters in the Îles du Vent. The colonial assemblies in Martinique and Guadeloupe claimed they had complied with the new law and urged the Minister of Marine not to send troops to enforce it.2[26] Planters not only feared that radical metropolitan soldiers would put their petit Blanc enemies in power, they also assumed that free-colored equality would lead inevitably to the slave revolt and anarchy which metropolitan legislators intended the new law to contain in Saint-Domingue. In September 1792 the naval squadron stationed at Martinique took the drastic step of repelling the convoy from France bringing new representatives of metropolitan authority. Acting on rumors of counter-revolution in Paris, the colonial assemblies in Guadeloupe and Martinique completed the schism by striking the revolutionary tricolor and raising the white flag of the old monarchy.2[27]

Gens de couleur backed the royalist rebellion initially, but representatives of the new Republic in France undermined this support with promises of unconditional equality. In December 1792 Captain Lacrosse, commanding the frigate Félicité, arrived in the Îles du Vent with official news of the Republic’s proclamation. Discovering that Martinique and Guadeloupe were in the grip of counter-revolution, Lacrosse made contact with patriot refugees in British Dominica before sailing to the French colony of Saint-Lucie which had remained loyal to metropolitan authority.2[28] With his frigate outnumbered by the rebel warships, Lacrosse waged a propaganda campaign against royalism in the Îles du Vent. Beyond contradicting claims of counter-revolution in France, and announcing the success of republican arms in Europe, he sought to reassure planters that the Republic would guarantee their property: it had no intention of abolishing slavery.2[29] Lacrosse also appealed specifically to the gens de couleur. His broadsheets urged men of color to desert the rebels, who would return them to segregation and inequality, and to claim their rights as new citizens.3[30] These appeals proved effective. Free men of color participated in a patriot uprising at Point-à-Pitre in December which led to the collapse of the royalist administration in Guadeloupe. Félicité anchored at Pointe-à-Pitre on 5 January 1793 and Lacrosse’s first act upon stepping ashore was to exchange fraternal kisses with a colored man, symbolizing the racial equality of the new order.3[31] The revolt also crumbled in Martinique. That colony’s citizens of color delivered an address to the colonial assembly on 9 January which, while professing continued devotion to its leaders, demanded that it too reject the counter-revolution which threatened their equality.3[32] Colored defection from the rebellion was crucial. The comte de Béhague and the rebel warships fled the colony, and the colonial assembly sought reconciliation with Captain Lacrosse.3[33]

The new republican regimes established in Guadeloupe and Martinique early in 1793 depended on the “new citizens,” as former gens de couleur were now called, not only for political support but also to help maintain slavery. If planters previously appealed to free men of color to back them against patriots, radicals now sought to turn the new citizens against their moderate republican rivals. In March 1793 General Collot arrived in Guadeloupe to take up the post of governor and to replace Lacrosse who had assumed those duties in January. Many of the colony’s patriots resisted this transfer of power: they did not trust Collot because he had been appointed before the fall of the monarchy in 1792.3[34] General Rochambeau, the new governor-general in Martinique, insisted that the National Convention’s decree of 21 September 1792 upheld Collot’s legitimacy.3[35] Even after the colony’s new republican assembly confirmed Collot’s powers, Guadeloupe’s radicals remained hostile and sought to undermine his authority.3[36] In April 1793 nearly 200 slaves in the vicinity of Trois-Rivières rose in bloody revolt and then advanced toward the town of Basse-Terre. When confronted by national guardsmen, the insurgents identified themselves as “citizens” and declared that they had thwarted a plot by their royalist masters. Not only did Basse-Terre’s local authorities accept this claim, but Collot was horrified that they did not disarm the insurgents.3[37] Believing the governor had not done enough to root out and punish royalist conspirators, on 15 May the colony’s committee of general security denounced Collot as an “aristocrat” and an opponent of colored equality. Although the assembly rejected these charges, many new citizens began to fear that their rights were at risk.3[38] In August several men of color incited a new slave revolt at Sainte-Anne. Following its suppression, Collot alleged that the committee of general security had stirred up the ringleaders with the calumnious accusation that he opposed a supposed new law allowing illegitimate mulattos to inherit property from their white fathers.3[39] Yet if Guadeloupe’s radicals were prepared to play on colored fears in their struggle against the governor and his moderate supporters, they certainly did not advocate liberty for black slaves. Early in January 1794 patriots at Pointe-à-Pitre printed an accusation against Collot which stated that not only was he an “enemy of equality,” but also a “Philanthropist,” a “Negrophile” and a man “wanting to be a French republican and not a colonial republican.”4[40] Petit Blanc radicals feared the collapse of slavery, despite their reaction to the uprising at Trois-Rivière, and accused the governor of abolitionist sympathies in order to discredit him. There was no truth to this charge while the evidence suggests that Collot was in fact committed to free-colored equality.

On 4 February 1794 the National Convention in Paris decreed the abolition of slavery throughout the French empire.4[41] Rather than the inevitable outcome of Jacobin ideals, abolition resulted from a series of contingencies on both sides of the Atlantic. In particular, the civil commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel proclaimed general liberty for the slaves of Saint-Domingue’s North Province in July 1793 to gain their support against the sailors and petits Blancs who sought to seize control of Cap Français.4[42] Similarly, white attitudes towards free-colored equality in the Îles du Vent were determined not only by colonial racism or revolutionary principle, but also by political expediency. Royal administrators valued free men of color as defenders of colonial security and the slave system, and grands Blancs welcomed them as allies against petit Blanc patriots and even against metropolitan revolutionary authority. Republicans succeeded in winning over gens de couleur with the legal guarantee of equality. The subsequent struggle between republicans resulted not only in conflicting appeals for free-colored support, but in radical accusations that the moderates were not sincerely committed to racial equality. Free people of color in Guadeloupe and Martinique were themselves divided, not only politically but economically. While some took the drastic step of inciting slave revolt to put pressure on white colonists, others continued to back representatives of metropolitan authority and to defend the slave system. These choices became even more dangerous in March and April 1794, when British forces conquered Martinique and Guadeloupe, and then in June 1794 when forces sent by the Revolutionary Government in France recaptured Guadeloupe armed with the decree abolishing slavery. Ultimately free-colored loyalty to different white factions in the Îles du Vent was not fixed on the basis of racial solidarity or attachment to revolutionary principle, but was always conditional upon changing assessments of interests.


    1. “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, 26 August 1789” in A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution, ed. John Hall Stewart (Toronto: Macmillan, 1951), 113-15.return to text

    2. “Décret concernant la formation et la compétence des Assemblées Coloniales, 8 mars 1790” in Jules-François Saintoyant, La Colonisation française pendant la Révolution (1789-1799) (Paris: La Renaissance du Livre, 1930), I, 380-1. See also Shanti Marie Singham, “Betwixt Cattle and Men: Jews, Blacks, and Women, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man” in The French Idea of Freedom: The Old Regime and the Declaration of Rights of 1789, ed. Dale Van Kley (Standford: Standford University Press, 1994), 114-53.return to text

    3. Armand Guy Kersaint, “Discussion of Troubles in the Colonies, 2 March 1792” in The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History, ed. Lynn Hunt (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1996), 112-15. See also “Décret accordant les droits politiques aux hommes de couleur et noirs libres et prévoyant des envois de secours à Saint-Domingue, 28 mars 1792” in Saintoyant, I, 407-9.return to text

    4. Léo Élisabeth, “Gens du couleur et révolution dans les Îles du Vent (1789-janvier 1793),” Revue Française d’Histoire d’Outre-Mer LXXVI, no. 282-283 (1989), 75-96, and “La République dans les Îles du Vent (décembre 1792-avril 1794),” Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française, Nos. 293-294 (1993): 373-408.return to text

    5. Anne Pérotin-Dumon, “Free Coloreds and Slaves in Revolutionary Guadeloupe: Politics and Political Consciousness,” in The Lesser Antilles in the Age of European Expansion, eds. Robert L. Paquette & Stanley L. Engerman (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), 259-79.return to text

    6. Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), esp. 23-29, 93-104, 124-54.return to text

    7. Frédéric Régent, Esclavage, métissage, liberté: La Révolution française en Guadeloupe, 1789-1802 (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 2004), esp. 11-20, 223-4, 238-47, 254-6.return to text

    8. Léo Elisabeth, “The French Antilles,” in Neither Free Nor Slave: The Freedmen of African Descent in the Slave Societies of the New World, eds. David W. Cohen & Jack P. Greene (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), 134. See also Paul Butel, Histoire des Antilles françaises XVIIe-XXe siècle, (Paris: Perrin, 2002), 158, and Régent, 344-78.return to text

    9. The figure for Martinique in 1789 is taken from Elizabeth, “French Antilles,” 150, and for Guadeloupe in 1790 from Pérotin-Dumon, “Free Coloreds and Slaves,” 260. Elizabeth gives the figures of 4,851 free coloureds in Martinique and 3,044 in Guadeloupe in 1788 in “Gens de couleur,” 76. Lower figures for 1787 of 4,166 in Martinique and 1,877 in Guadeloupe are given in Yves Bénot, La révolution française et la fin des colonies (Paris: Éditions la découverte, 1987), 60.return to text

    10. See Régent, 402-59; Elizabeth, “French Antilles,” 157-64; Pérotin-Dumon, “Free Coloreds and Slaves,” 260-1.return to text

    11. 1See Butel, 161-2, and C.A. Banbuck, Histoire politique, économique et sociale de la Martinique sous l’Ancien Régime (1635-1789) (Paris, 1935; rpt. Fort-de-France: Société de Distribution et de Culture, 1972), 303. See also Stewart R. King, Blue Coat or Powdered Wig; Free People of Color in Pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2001), 226-65.return to text

    12. “Extrait de la délibération de l’assemblée générale de la colonie de la Martinique dans sa séance du 5 décembre 1789: Règlement sur la forme des affranchisements,” Archives Départementales de la Martinique – Fort-de-France (hereafter AD Martinique), B 18, 235. Régent refers to “une classe humiliée,” 460-1.return to text

    13. Free Citizens of Color, “Address to the National Assembly, October 22, 1789” in Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents, eds. Laurent Dubois & John D. Garrigus (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006), 67-70. See also Abbé Gregoire, “Memoir in Favor the People of Color or Mixed-Race of Saint-Domingue, 1789” in The French Revolution and Human Rights, 105-6. return to text

    14. For Guadeloupe, see Baron de Clugny to Minister of Marine, 29 September 1789 (pp. 162-3), Centre des Archives d’outre-mer - Aix-en-Provence (hereafter CAOM), C7A 43, 162-3. For Martinique, see Comte de Vioménil to Minister of Marine, 17 October 1789, CAOM, C8A 89, 81. See also Lucien Abenon, Jacques Cauna, and Liliane Chauleau, Antilles 1789: La Révolution aux Caraïbes (Paris: Éditions Nathan, 1989), 149, 162-3.return to text

    15. See “Copie d’une lettre anonime addressée à M. Mollérat, dattée de Saint-Pierre le 28 août 1789” (p. 68) and “Copie de la lettre des Esclaves de la Martinique, Saint-Pierre, le 29 août 1789” (pp. 69-70), CAOM, C8A 89, 68, 69-70. See also Pierre-François-Régis Dessales, Histoire des troubles survenus à la Martinique pendant la Révolution, ed. Henri de Frémont (Fort-de-France: Société d’Histoire de la Martinique, 1982), 17-26, and David Geggus, “The Slaves and Free Coloreds of Martinique during the Age of the French and Haitian Revolutions: Three Moments of Resistance” in The Lesser Antilles, 282-8.return to text

    16. Précis de ce qui s’est passé à Saint-Pierre, depuis le moment qu’on reçu la nouvelle de la réunion des trois Ordres en France, jusqu’au 29 septembre dernier (Saint-Pierre, 1789, pp. 102-3), CAOM, F3 29, 102-3. See also Desalles, 26-31.return to text

    17. Comte de Vioménil to Minister of Marine, 17 October 1789 (pp. 83-5), CAOM, C8A 89, 83-5. See also Sidney Daney, Histoire de la Martinique depuis la colonisation jusqu’en 1815, 3 vols., (Fort-Royal, 1846; rpt. Fort-de-France: Société d’Histoire de la Martinique, 1963), 2: 10-11.return to text

    18. Martinique’s Colonial Assembly issued orders in December 1789 to control the new municipalities and these provoked a riot in Saint-Pierre on 13 December: “Extrait de la délibération de l’assemblée générale de la colonie de la Martinique dans sa séance du 9 décembre 1789” (pp. 233-4), AD Martinique, B 18, 233-4. See also Dessales, 99-103, and Daney, III, 22-23.return to text

    19. Gazette de la Martinique: Supplément au No. XXIII, lundi, 7 juin 1790 (p. 158), CAOM , C8A 96, 158. See also Foullon d’Écotier to Minister of Marine, 20 June 1790, CAOM, C8A 94, 224-6 and Vicomte de Damas to Minister of Marine, 4 June 1790 (pp. 122-3), CAOM, C8A 93, 122-3.return to text

    20. Extrait de la Délibération de l’Assemblée générale de la Colonie, dans la séance du sept juin 1790, après-midi (Saint-Pierre, 1790, pp. 130-1), CAOM, C8A 93, 130-131. return to text

    21. Vicomte de Damas to Minister of Marine, 5, 6, 13 June 1790 (pp. 124-7), CAOM, C8A 93, 124-7. For the patriot account of these events, see Relation de ce qui s’est passée à Saint-Pierre Martinique, lors de l’arrivée de M. de Damas avec les troupes, par un Colon de la Basse-Terre Guadeloupe, témoin oculaire. Saint-Pierre Martinique, le 8 juin 1790, Archives Municipales, Bordeaux, C 15, no. 39.return to text

    22. 2Mémoire de M. De Damas, Gouverneur de la Martinique, sur les troubles de cette colonie, (Paris, 1791), 1-5. For the patriot version of events, see Crassous de Médeuil, Rélation de ce qui s’est passée à la Martinique, depuis le 1er septembre 1790 (Fort-Royal, 1791; rpt. Fort-de-France: Société d’Histoire de la Martinique, 1982), 1-15. See also Henry Lémery, La Révolution Française à la Martinique (Paris: Larose, 1936), 97-9.return to text

    23. Baron de Clugny to Minister of Marine, 30 November 1790 (pp. 47-9), CAOM, C7A 44, 47-9. See also M.A. Lacour, Histoire de la Guadeloupe (Basse-Terre, 1885-60; rpt. Paris: Édition et diffusion de la culture Antillaise, 1976), II, 26-39, and Anne Pérotin-Dumon, Être Patriote sous les Tropiques: la Guadeloupe, la colonisation et la Révolution (1789-1794) (Basse-Terre: Société d’Histoire de la Guadeloupe, 1985), 137-41.return to text

    24. “Décret suspendant l’Assemblée Coloniale de la Martinique et instituant des Commissaires Civils pour rétablir l’ordre dans les Îles du Vent, 29 novembre 1790” in Saintoyant, I, 389-91. See also Comte de Béhague to Minister of Marine, 1 April 1791 [no. 1] (pp. 54-5), CAOM, C8A 98, 54-5 and Lémery, 120-35.return to text

    25. “Décret du 15 mai 1791 précisant l’état politique des mulâtres et nègres libres” and “Décret abrogeant la législation coloniale de la Constituante et la remplaçant par des articles constitutionnels, 24 septembre 1791” in Saintoyant, I, 127, 398-99. See also Julien Raimond, “Observations on the Origin and Progression of the White Colonists’ Prejudice against Men of Color, 1791” in Slave Revolution, 78-82, and Valerie Quinney, “The Problem of Civil Rights for Free Men of Color in the Early French Revolution,” French Historical Studies VII, no. 4 (1972): 544-557.return to text

    26. “Lettre de M. de Béhague au comité intermédiaire de l’assemblée coloniale, au sujet de l’exécution de la loi du 4 avril 1792, 24-27 mai 1792” (p. 72), CAOM, C8A 99, 72. See also “Instructions adressées par le gouverneur de la Guadeloupe à MM. les officiers municipaux ..., 4 juin 1792” (pp. 225-6), CAOM, C7A 45, 225-6.return to text

    27. See Captain Bruix to Minister of Marine, 2 October 1792 and Bruix’s “Extrait de mon Journal” (pp. 9-29), CAOM, C8A 100, 9-29. See also Comte de Béhague to Minister of Marine, 20 September 1792 (p. 153), CAOM C7A 45, 153 and “Copie du Journal de la Calipso, du 29 septembre au 15 octobre 1792,” Archives de la Marine - Vincennes (hereafter Marine), BB 4/12, 62-3. For details of the counter-revolution effected by Guadeloupe’s Colonial Assembly, see “Copie du Rapport de M. Henry, 23 octobre 1792” (pp. 157-64), CAOM, C7A 45, 157-64, and Lémery, 157-64. return to text

    28. “Compte rendu à ses concitoyens par le capitaine Lacrosse, commandant la frégate de la République, La Félicité, de sa mission aux Îles-du-Vent de l’Amérique, pendant les années 1792 à 1793” in Archives Parlementaires de 1787 à 1860, vol. 76, ed. M.J. Mavidal (Paris: Paul Dupont, 1875-1913), 508-10. See also Captain Lacrosse to Minister of Marine, 20 December 1792 (pp. 165-7), CAOM, C7A 45, 165-7.return to text

    29. “Pièce no. 6: Le dernier moyen de conciliation entre la mère patrie et les colonies révoltées” in Archives Parlementaires, vol. 76: 517-18. See also “Précis des Nouvelles de la Convention nationale de du succès des armes de la République française, apportées par la frégate la Félicité, capitaine Lacrosse,” Marine, BB 4/12, 116-23. return to text

    30. “Pièce no. 14: Observations sur la proclamation de Béhague,” Archives Parlementaires, 76: 520-2.return to text

    31. “Compte rendu ... Lacrosse” in Archives Parlementaires, 76: 510-11. See also Lacour, 2: 131, and Pérotin-Dumon, Être Patriote sous les Tropiques, 162-76.return to text

    32. “Adresse des citoyens de couleur de la Martinique à l’Assemblée Coloniale, séante au Lamentin, le 9 janvier 1793” (pp. 137-9), CAOM, C8A 102, 137-9.return to text

    33. 3See Captain Lacrosse to Minister of Marine, 18 January 1793 and President of Martinique’s Colonial Assembly to Captain Lacrosse, 13 January 1793 and “Extrait des délibérations de l’Assemblée coloniale de la Martinique, ... 13 janvier 1793” and Captain Lacrosse to deputies of Martinique’s Colonial Assembly in Sainte-Lucie, 17 January 1793 (pp. 1-9), CAOM, C8A 102, 1-9. See also Lémery, 183-90.return to text

    34. “Copie de la lettre écrite par les membres de la chambre administrative de la Pointe-à-Pitre, Isle Guadeloupe, au citoyen Gouverneur-Général, du 25 février 1793,” CAOM, C8A 101, 120. See also Lacrosse, “Compte rendu” Archives Parlementaires, 76: 512.return to text

    35. See “Copie de la lettre écrite aux citoyens de la commission extraordinaire de la Guadeloupe [par Rochambeau] du Fort-de-la-République, le 1er mars 1793” and “Copie de la lettre écrite au Capitaine Lacrosse, du Fort-de-la-République, le 18 mars 1793, l’an 2 de la République française, par le Général Rochambeau,” CAOM, C8A 101, 124, 37.return to text

    36. “Pièce #27: Extrait des registres de la Commission général et extraordinaire de la Guadeloupe, séant à la Pointe-à-Pitre, le 20 mars 1793,” in Archives Parlementaires, 76: 526-27. Regarding patriot suspicion of Collot, see “Extrait d’une lettre écrite de la Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, le 25 mars 1793, par le citoyen Caussade, habitant sucrier et officier municipale ... au citoyen Curieux Jeune, négociant à Bordeaux,” CAOM, C7A 46, 215-17. return to text

    37. Précis des Événemens qui se sont passés à la Guadeloupe pendant l’administration de George-Henry-Victor Collot, depuis le 20 mars 1793 jusqu’au 22 avril 1794. Présenté à la Convention Nationale (Philadelphia, 1795, p. 7), CAOM, C7A 46, 19. For the patriot acceptance of the claims made by the Trois-Rivières insurgents, see Journal républicain de la Guadeloupe, 24 avril 1793 (p. 124), CAOM, C7A 46, 124, also quoted in Laurent Dubois, Les Esclaves de la République: L’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation 1789-1794 (Paris, 1998), 116-18. See also Dubois, A Colony of Citizens, 126-36, and Pérotin-Dumon, Être Patriote sous les Tropiques, 182-5.return to text

    38. Extrait des registres de la commission générale et extraordinaire de la Guadeloupe., séance extraordinaire du 15 mai 1793, l’an 2 de la République française (Basse-Terre, 1793) and Compte rendu au peuple de la Guadeloupe par le citoyen gouverneur Collot, dans la séance extraordinaire de la commission, du 15 mai 1793, l’an deuxième de la république française, (Basse-Terre, 1793), CAOM, C7A 46, 231-2. See also Régent, 254.return to text

    39. Précis des Événemens (pp. 11-12), CAOM, C7A 46, 21. Regarding the August 1793 revolt near Sainte-Anne, see Dubois, Colony of Citizens, 137-40, and Régent, 256-61.return to text

    40. Précis des Événemens (p. 18), CAOM C7A 46, 24.return to text

    41. “Decree of the National Convention of February 4, 1794, Abolishing Slavery in All the Colonies;” in The French Revolution and Human Rights, 115-16. See also Jean-Daniel Piquet, L’émancipation des Noirs dans la Révolution française (1789-1795) (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2002), esp. 321-79.return to text

    42. Jeremy D. Popkin, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), esp. 217-88, 327-75.return to text