Louisiana slave revolt.

This revolt is more often, and more credibly, described as the largest ever on U.S. territory. See, for example, the recent book  American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt, by David Drummond, or the timeline entriy at  The Slave Rebellion Website.

The known facts are minimal. On January 8, 1811, Charles Deslondes, a free mulatto from St. Domingo, led a body of slaves in a rebellion west of New Orleans along Louisiana’s “German Coast.” The slaves fought with cane knives and clubs before securing a few firearms. By January 11, local militia and army regulars had crushed the poorly armed rebels.

Aptheker reports that 82 blacks were killed or executed in the suppression of the revolt, with seventeen others either escaping or being left for dead. As a warning to future troublemakers, executioners placed the severed heads of sixteen black rebels on posts along the road leading to the plantation where the uprising started.[9]

If more facts were known, the Louisiana revolt might rival the Black Seminole rebellion in size, though certainly not in scope. The event was short-lived, and while it sent shockwaves around New Orleans, it never gained national attention. The rebel force must have been considerable, given that authorities sanctioned killing 82 of them. Reports placed the number of rebels at somewhere between 180 and 500. Aptheker estimated four or five hundred on uncertain authority, while Genovese was inclined toward the lower number.[10]

Unfortunately the only hard numbers associated with the revolt are the executed, dead, and missing, who totaled 99, far less than the documented participants in the Black Seminole rebellion.


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