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Wed, 09.23.1789

Charles Deslondes, Abolitionist born

Charles Deslondes

*The birth of Charles Deslondes is celebrated on this date, c. 1789.  He was a Black abolitionist

Charles Deslondes was born on the Louisiana plantation of Jacques Deslondes.  Plantation succession records have Charles described as being a "Creole Mulatto slave” by the name of Charles, “about 16 years old”, and listed as a “field laborer.” Contrary to many published articles, we do not know if Jacques Deslondes ever brought Charles over from Saint Domingue after the revolt there, there is no record of Jacques ever having lived in Saint Domingue, there is no record of Jacques buying Charles before he died in 1793. He has a continually documented presence in Louisiana from the time he was 17 years old until he died in 1793.  

Deslondes worked as a "driver," or overseer of slaves, on the plantation of Col. Manuel Andre or Andry (this plantation was later called Woodland and no longer exists), who owned a total of 86 slaves. In a letter printed in the Philadelphia Political and Commercial Advertiser on February 19 that year, Deslondes was mistakenly described as a free person of color. He was one of the slave leaders of the 1811 German Coast Uprising, a slave revolt that began on January 8, 1811, in the Territory of Orleans. He led more than 200 rebels against the plantations along the Mississippi River toward New Orleans.

White planters formed militias and ended up hunting down the rebels. The slave insurgents killed one Free Man of Color, the "commandant," "overseer," or "slave driver" on the Andre plantation, which started the revolt, and one white man during their retreat from the outskirts of New Orleans. The militia and the Army killed 95 slaves which included the battle, which took place on Bernard Bernoudy's plantation, some gratuitous "accidental" killings of innocent slaves by the Army on its march from New Orleans, and the executions which followed the Tribunals after the revolt was put down.  

Deslondes was among the first captured by dogs after the battle. The militia did not hold him for trial or interrogation. Samuel Hambleton described Deslonde's fate: "Charles [Deslondes] had his hands chopped off then shot in one thigh & then the other until they were both broken — then shot in the body and before he had expired was put into a bundle of straw and roasted!" On January 11, 181, his dying cries sent a message to the other escaped slaves in the marshes. 

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