Julien Raimond

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Slaves at work at an indigo manufacture.
Julien Raimond (1744 Martinique - 1801) was an indigo planter in Saint-Domingue. He was born a free man of color, the son of a French colonist and the mulatto daughter of a planter, in the the South of the colony. Raimond owned over 100 slaves by the 1780s. But he is most famous for challenging the French government to reform racially discrimatory laws in Saint-Domingue. He moved to France in the mid 1780s and pursued this goal in person at the French Colonial Ministry. A Commissioner to Saint-Domingue in 1796, he served along with Léger Félicité Sonthonax and Philippe Rose Roume de Saint-Laurent.

Working with Vincent Ogé, Henri Grégoire - the two met in October 1789 - and the Society of the Friends of the Blacks (Amis des Noirs), Raimond succeeded in making the cause of racial equality into the leading colonial question before the French National Assembly in 1790 and 1791. On May 15, 1791, the French legislature passed racial reforms urged by Raimond giving wealthy free-born men of color the right to vote in the colonies. But white colonists' resistance to this change provoked civil war in Saint-Domingue.

Raimond published about two dozen political pamphlets in France, including a history of racial prejudice and plans for the gradual emancipation of France's colonial slaves. His projects were surpassed when France's Commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax recognized the freedom of the slaves in 1793 before Raimond's plans were put into action. Raimond eventually returned twice to Saint-Domingue, once with Sonthonax himself, as an agent of the Revolutionary government, helping re-establish the plantation system after the end of slavery. Though a long advocate of loyalty to France, Raimond ultimately allied with Toussaint Louverture and was one of 10 men who served on a committee that wrote a self-governing 1801 Constitution for Saint-Domingue. Raimond died shortly after the document was promulgated on July 8th, 1801.

See also

References

  • Julien Raimond. (2005, June 2). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:04, December 5, 2005 [1].