In early 1795, citizen Victor HUGUES attempted to raise the whole of the Windward Islands against the English. In Grenada, FEDON and his rebels came close to victory. The following information is abstracted from "A history of the island of Grenada, 1498-1796" by Raymund P. DEVAS as well as from the CARAN archives (series: Colonies C/10A/4). 1: The events according to R.P. Devas In February 1795 Charles NOGUES and Pierre LA VALETTE, having been appointed Captains, returned from Guadeloupe, bearing commissions naming FEDON Commander-in-chief of the rebels in Grenada. The rebellion broke out on the night of 1st to 2nd of March. FEDON and BESSON, with a hundred slaves and coloureds, took the Marquis (Grenville) by surprise; they executed Father PEISSONIER whose behaviour appeared suspicious. Simultaneously, another band of rebels, guided by Etienne VENTOUR and Joachim PHILIP, attacked Gouyave (Charlotte Town). A notable presence among them was a Catholic priest, Pascal MARDEL. The English governor, Ninian HOME, and his entourage were taken prisoner near Gouyave. In the following weeks, the English made several attempts to bring the situation under control, but to no avail. Reduced to taking the defensive, they were unable to prevent the rebels from receiving help from Guadeloupe. They did however capture a ship on which a rebel, Pierre ALEXANDRE, was travelling, and he was hanged on May 2. On May 8, the English launched a general attack; it was a complete failure, its only consequence being the massacre by FEDON of 48 prisoners, one of whom was Ninian HOME. Operations ceased during the summer. The English forces were devastated by an outbreak of Yellow fever (bulam fever). On October 10th, two French vessels, the "Brutus" and the "Republican," were captured with reinforcements on board; nevertheless, some troops, led by citizen JOSSéE, managed to disembark. The rebels again took the offensive, capturing several enemy boats; by February 1796, the whole island, except for the capital, was in their hands. Their success, however, was limited by dissension in their ranks, and by the arrival of British reinforcements. On March 22, British General NICHOLLS again took Post Royal Hill. During this engagement, FEDON was wounded. On June 9, Lieutenant-General Ralph ABERCROMBY made an inspection tour of Grenada, and organised ongoing operations. FEDON and what remained of his troops were surrounded on Mount Qua Qua (Morne Fédon or Fedon's Camp), where they again massacred their prisoners before surrendering. FEDON himself disappeared, and his fate remains a mystery. The act of surrender was signed by JOSSéE on June 10th 1796. One hundred and twenty men were sent as prisoners-of-war to England, where they remained in captivity for 17 months. Thirty-eight French citizens were executed, and others deported to the coast of Honduras. The story is told of one Jacques CHADEAU, who was not caught and executed until June 1807, after being hunted for 10 years. 2: List of French executed Colonies C/10A/4 lists the names of 29 of the 38 French citizens executed between July 6th and 8th 1796. BARBEROUSSE, aged 66 BATARELLE, woman & 4 children BEAU, Pierre BONTEMS BOUCAUD, aged 60, woman & 3 children CHARPENTIER, aged 62 CHAUTENEL, Clovis, coloured CLAUZIER, Sainte-Marie, woman & 6 children DARCOEUIL-CLAUZIER, aged 80 DELISLE DESUZE, aged 75, & 6 children DOLABAILLE, Alexandre, woman & 5 children DOUDUN DROST, woman & 2 children DUMONT, Gerbert, woman & 4 children FOURTEAU, Jean, woman & 4 children FURGERIE, Charles, coloured HOULINGUE, woman & 4 children HYPOLITE, coloured LABASTIDE, woman & 3 children LABATTE LORENCY, woman & 5 children MARASSE de FAROTTE, woman & 5 children MORILLON, woman & 5 children Father PASCAL, priest of Gouyave RALPH Pierre RAPIERRE, Edmond, coloured SIBILAQUE, woman VILLAR 3: / The prose of Victor HUGUES The series "Colonies C/10A/4" from the CARAN archives contains messages sent from Guadeloupe to the insurgents in Grenada. One notes, in addition to the usual lively style of Victor HUGUES, the difficulties of communicating with a Grenada under an effective English blockade, a relative ignorance of the events that had occurred on the island, and the bitter comments on the dissension which seemed to prevail in the rebel ranks. * To Citizens NOGUET and VALLéE, officers of the Republic in Grenada (25 ventôse III - 15 03 1795) Courage, brothers and friends. We have learnt of your first successes, but are as yet unaware of the circumstances. We have dispatched Edmond RAPIER with 8000 cartridges. We are not sending you any money, as LA VALLEE should not yet have spent the 150 "moïdes"* that we gave him when he left. Enable us to better help you, by informing us by despatch- boat of what has occurred. Annihilate the English, they are the enemies of mankind: show no mercy. Not content with wanting to enslave us, they have sought to starve us to death. Give no quarter, strike hard. St Vincent and St Lucia have been attacked, and soon the English will be everywhere, we must wipe out even their very name. * To Citizen LAGRANGE, deputy, (10 floréal III - 29 04 1795) The "Modeste" will bring you 100 pikes, 60 rifles, 25,000 cartridges, three barrels of powder, 50 pairs of shoes and a bag of cockades. If you controlled several ports we could give you a hundred armed men and a small cannon... We approve of your decision to appoint citizen FEYDON provisional commander of the armed forces. Tell NOGUé that his son is well, so that he need not be concerned for his fate. * To Citizen FEYDON, provisional commander of the armed forces in Grenada (20 prairial III, 08 06 1795) We have received no news from you; however it would be very useful to the Republic if we knew what successes or failures you have had; let us help you to increase the former and to make up for the latter... Make haste to let us know your needs and your situation. * To the same (22 fructidor III, 08 09 1795) Our colleague has just informed us that in spite of our advice and our exhortations, there is still dissension among you... We reiterate that as long as your motivation remains an ambition to wear epaulettes, and as long as your passions take precedence over your devotion to the Republic, you will suffer defeat... * To the same (3 frimaire IV, 24 11 1795) We are pained to see how divided you are; the enemy will hear of it, and will take advantage of it to fall upon you and defeat you. Let ambition give way to love of the Republic. It is impossible for you all to be in charge; obey those who command you and do not force us to use harsh measures against you. Listen to our appeals, they are for your own good. * To the same (3 ventôse IV, 22 02 1796) If you had followed our advice, you would not have made it almost impossible for us to help you. Give us the means to assist you by capturing a position on the coast, and then we will send you all you need. The "Modeste" and many other ships sailed around your island but were unable to make landfall. We hope that the "Lutine" does better and can bring you the 200 "moïdes" and the various items which she has on board for you. * To the same (23 prairial IV, 11 06 1796) For some time now all the help and ammunition you have received has been shipped from St Lucia, because of the proximity and ease of communication between that island and yours. The English have just captured Morne Fortuné, and we hasten to send powder and cartridges to you by the "Modeste", so that you will have the means to repel the enemy, should they attack. It was only after the most vigorous resistance, and considerable losses sustained in the various battles, combined with a lack of ammunition, that they were able to seize the fort. A number of republicans who had been defending it left before the surrender, taking their weapons with them, and joined other troops scattered throughout the island and 500 French deserters; so the war in this country will become more active and more intense than ever. We hope that this failure, far from vanquishing your courage, will give you new strength, and that although the efforts of the defenders of St Lucia were not crowned with success, that you will still use every means at your disposal to achieve victory yourselves. You must be on your guard: the enemy will very soon have to move forces to Grenada. Try to obtain from Spanish Trinidad the help that island can provide. To prove how easy it is we have sent citizen GANDELAT, our agent to that government... To speak to you of zeal, of action, would be to insult you. Your devotion is well known to us, and we are certain that you will be faithful to the oath of the Republic: Victory or death. * This may be the "moidore", a Portuguese gold coin current in England in the 18th century [Portuguese moeda d'ouro, money of gold].