BY: NATASHA GREGG
COLIHAUT UPRISING –
After the Treaty of Paris of 1763, that ceded Dominica to Britain, France in 1778, waged a successful invasion and recaptured the island during the American Revolution. However, the island was returned to Britain as part of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The British upon taking control of Dominica settled in Roseau and the neighboring countryside, while the French settlers that remained lived on small estates. As the French Revolution roared through Europe, it had a domino effect on the islands of the Caribbean. Many who were sympathetic to the French and despised British rule, set off devastating revolts. In May 1795, some French settlers and their slaves decided to take a page out of the Fédon’s Rebellion book, thus beginning an uprising at Colihaut, a village in St. Peter’s Parish in Dominica. Many of the French settlers were wealthy planters who armed and funded their slaves to join French revolutionaries. The uprising was planned to coincide with a major landing of French troops sent by Victor Hugues to Pagua Bay. Their aim was to help the French revolutionary forces who were planning another invasion to take back the island from Britain. However, as the rebels marched to join up with the invasion, the revolt was swiftly put down and the invasion thwarted by British forces. Those of the rebels who didn’t escape to the mountainous terrains of the island, were either tried and hang or deported back to France.