1789-1798: Jamaica and Haiti -The Caribbean Front of the French Revolution
The French Revolution was a bloody event in Europe, and French colonies in the Caribbean, especially those on Hispaniola, followed suit. Because Jamaica was Hispaniola's nearest island neighbor, the war impacted its history in many ways.
*Revolt on Hispaniola
**The Island of Hispaniola was divided between the French (on what is now Haiti) and the Spanish (on the current Dominican Republic). The French were further divided amongst themselves. The white Frenchmen disliked the mulattoes, who were people of mixed race; the mulattoes disliked the creoles, who were born slaves on the island; and the creoles disliked the newly imported slaves from Africa.
Even so, it was a mulatto who began a revolt with the belief that they were all equals. His attempts to free the slaves got him captured on the Spanish half of the island, and he was eventually tortured and killed. This event sparked a true uprising, and more than 12,000 were killed in the first months of the fighting. Eventually the white population was wiped out.
though worry was widespread that these events might inspire another revolt on Jamaica, the islanders had many other problems to worry. Hispaniolan refugees, along with any slaves who remained faithful to them, fled to Jamaica. This French influx was also seen as an opportunity for spies to enter the island, and the Jamaican militia and troops were quickly posted to stand watch.
It turns out that this was not an idle concern. Although the Second Maroon War in 1795 may not have been a result of French influences upon the Trelawny Town Maroons, it was thought to be at the time. Later plots by Duboison and Sas Portas were revealed, and the men's slaves were deported. Duboison gave up Sas Portas in exchange for his own life, but Sas Portas was not as lucky and was hanged at the Kingston Parade.
Several other events took place at the same...