January 8 1811

GM – FBF – Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.

Remember – “All we want as Negros in this land is to be free” – Charles Deslandes

Today in our History – The German Coast Uprising of 1811 under the leadership of Charles Deslandes (1780 -15 January 1811) has evaded the attention of most historians. It is unclear if Deslondes was a free man of color born in Saint-Domingue and was part of the large-scale 1809 immigration to Louisiana from that colony after the Haitian Revolution (1891-1804). An unpublished work by scholar Gwendolyn Midlo Hall suggests, however, that Deslondes was a Louisiana-born slave.

Whatever his origins, it is clear that in 1811, Charles Deslondes was the leader of the revolt known as the German Coast Uprising on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. On the evening of 8 January 1811, at the age of thirty-one, Deslondes led a band of rebels downriver on River Road. They began in Norco and continued through the parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist in Louisiana, approximately forty miles from the city of New Orleans. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the region was part of the larger Territory of Orleans. In 1804, the Territory of Orleans was all of the land of the Louisiana Purchase south of the 33rd parallel. Because of its initial settlement by a small enclave of Germans, locals dubbed the province “The German Coast.” The historian Eugene D. Genovese estimated that Deslondes, inspired by the Haitian Revolution, led between three hundred and five hundred slaves in rebellion.

Deslondes was a slave driver at the Woodland Plantation owned by Manuel Andry, in east-bank St. John Parish, Louisiana. Witnesses stated that Deslondes united slaves on his plantation with runaways who formed a maroon society in the nearby swamps. Please research slave rebellions and share with you babies. Make it a champion day!

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