Civique de
Pétition à MM. les Députés des Départemens, relative à l'abolition de l'esclavage dans les colonies françaises
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Petition Deputies French Departments Abolition Slavery Colonies France
This address to the members of the French parliament by the writer and abolitionist Civique de Gastine is radically critical of both colonial slavery and the continued illegal slave trade. Gastine, "a friend of humanity" (5), describes slavery as "repulsive to the French character" and "an outrage against nature" (5). He also appeals to the "dignity of the French nation" (6), pointing out the hypocrisy of reproaching North African states for holding Europeans in slavery, when Europe was doing the same to Africans. He calls upon "justice, humanity and national honour" to end slavery in the French colonies as soon as possible. Contains a model law for the abolition of French colonial slavery (7-13), which would include compensation for slave owners, paid for a tax on imported goods produced by slave labour. Those who liberated slaves before legal abolition would be awarded the Legion of Honour. Former slaves would be recompensed with land, or would be offered passage to Africa or another country in the Americas (7). He also suggested a lighthouse monument to the abolition of slavery, to be built on the westernmost point of Brittany - the "Phare de la Liberté" (12).
Gastine was the author of a number of other petitions calling for the abolition of slavery, civil rights in the French colonies and the recognition of the independence of Haiti. He also wrote a history of the Haitian revolution.