French Caribbean

John Garrigus

in The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227990
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 French Caribbean

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This article reviews scholarship on the history and historiography of slavery in the French Caribbean. Pierre d'Esnambuc, a Norman sailor, planted France's first Caribbean colony on the tiny Lesser Antillean island of St Christopher in 1625. The settlement contained several dozen slaves. Although Great Britain removed this French foothold at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), slavery expanded under French auspices, albeit in fits and starts, to other islands during the seventeenth century. Slavery peaked in the French Caribbean during the eighteenth century as French slave traders carried more than one million slaves to the Americas. Most slaves in the French Caribbean laboured on plantations and in other commercial enterprises.

Keywords: slavery; slave trade; plantations; French slave traders

Article.  13395 words. 

Subjects: History ; Colonialism and Imperialism ; Slavery and Abolition of Slavery

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