FÉDON’S REBELLION –

BY: Natasha Gregg

 

FÉDON’S REBELLION –

 

On February 10, 1763, Grenada was formally ceded to Britain via the Treaty of Paris, however, much of the colony’s populace was unhappy with British rule. Fédon’s Rebellion began on March 2, 1795 as an uprising against British colonialism in Grenada. It was led by Julien Fédon, a Martinique-born mulatto owner of the Belvedere Estate in the mountainous center of the island, who ordered the killing of a number of British settlers in Grenville, a town in the northern part of the island. He was at the helm, leading approximately 100 free coloreds and slaves, but eventually, the rebellion grew to involve more free coloreds led by other mulattoes, some French Catholics (who were discriminated against) and approximately half of the colony’s slaves. They were influenced by the French Revolution’s ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, French Revolutionary leaders in Guadeloupe and Martinique and the revolution in Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti). Their sole purpose of the rebellion was to oust the British and create a republic like Saint-Domingue, not the freedom of slaves. However, the slaves that joined the revolution had their own agenda, hoping to gain their freedom and become citizens. Throughout the months that followed, the rebels were able to seize control of the entire island, except for St. George Parish, where the government was located and tightly secured by the British. The rebellion ended on June 19, 1796, the day after the ill-fated attack on St. George. The rebels were soundly defeated by a military led by General Ralph Abercrombie of the British Army near Mount Qua Qua. With the British now back in control of the island, suspected rebel leaders were executed, however, Fédon was never captured and his whereabouts were unknown after the revolution.

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