Louis Delgrès, hero of the fight against the restoration of slavery in Guadeloupe
Louis Delgrès, hero of the fight against the restoration of slavery in Guadeloupe.- Proclamation of 10 may 1802
Louis Delgrès is, according to the most likely hypothesis, the natural son of Elisabeth Morin (known as guiby) and Louis Delgrès White Creole De Saint-Pierre who was the recipient of the King and director of the King's estates in Tobago. He will live with his parents in Martinique and then in Tobago. Louis Delgrès began his military career on 10 November 1783 in the militia, in the colonies. He is soon appointed sergeant, stationed in Martinique. Inspired by revolutionary movements in American colonies, he will assert his anti-slavery and abolitionist opinions throughout his military career.
The Historic and tragic event that will retain the memory of Delgrès is the anti-slavery proclamation signed by his him, dated 10 may 1802, when he is head of resistance against the Richepance's consular troops. , sent by Bonaparte to restore slavery on the island. It is then that he displays on the walls of Basse-Terre, the proclamation:
To the entire universe, the last cry of innocence and despair:
"À l'Univers entier, le dernier cri de l'innocence et du désespoir":
On 20 May 1802, Delgrès and his troops were forced to retreat to the fort of basse-Terre which they then had to abandon on 22 May 1802 (escaping secretly with his men) to take refuge at the foot of la Soufrière in Matouba, towards Saint-Claude.
On 28 May 1802, when they'd lost, Louis Delgrès and his 300 companions committed suicide in their refuge from the habitation house in Matouba, under the revolutionary motto "Living free or dying".