Vincent Ogé

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Vincent Ogé (aka Jacques Vincent Ogé) (1750 Dondon, Haiti - February 6, 1791 Port-au-Prince, Haiti) - As a member of the Friends of the Negro (a Mulatto organization), Ogé had been frustrated by the Assembly's refusal to extend the Rights of Man to mulattoes and decided to take matters into his own hands. With money he got from Thomas Clarkson in London, he purchased firearms in the US (James p. 73) and sent them to Saint-Domingue to attempt a Mulatto uprising. Unfortunately, though an eloquent speaker, Ogé was no general and was decisively overpowered. His exceptionally brutal (Kennedy p. 136) torture and death (James pp. 73 - 74) served only to heat up an already rapidly boiling cauldron of dissatisfaction.

Vincent Ogé sent this letter from Grande Rivière, his camp in the Department of the North, to the President of the Assembly of that department:

VINCENT OGÉ TO THE MEMBERS COMPOSING THE PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CAPE.

"GENTLEMEN:--A prejudice, too long maintained, is about to fall. I am charged with a commission doubtless very honorable to myself. I require you to promulgate throughout the colony the instructions of the National Assembly of the 8th of March, which gives without distinction, to all free citizens, the right of admission to all offices and functions. My pretensions are just, and I hope you will pay due regard to them. I shall not call the plantations to rise; that means would be unworthy of me. Learn to appreciate the merit of a man whose intention is pure. When I solicited from the National Assembly a decree which I obtained in favor of the American colonists, formerly known under the injurious epithet of 'men of mixed blood,' I did not include in my claims the condition of the negroes who live in servitude. You and our adversaries have misrepresented my steps in order to bring me into discredit with honorable men. No, no, gentlemen! we have put forth a claim only on behalf of a class of freemen, who, for two centuries, have been under the yoke of oppression. We require the execution of the decree of the 8th of March. We insist on its promulgation, and we shall not cease to repeat to our friends that our adversaries are unjust, and that they know not how to make their interests compatible with ours. Before employing my means, I make use of mildness; but if, contrary to my expectation, you do not satisfy my demand, I am not answerable for the disorder into which my just vengeance may carry me." (Beard p. 46-47)

References

  • James, C.L.R. (1989). The Black Jacobins. Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. (2nd Ed., Revised) New York: Vintage Press. ISBN 0-679-72467-2.
  • Kennedy, Roger G. (1989). Orders from France: The Americans and the French in a Revolutionary World, 1780-1820. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-55592-9.
  • Beard, J. R. (John Relly) (1863). Toussaint L'Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography. Chapel Hill, NC: Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH. Online Publication

External link