204
Rouvellat de Cussac
Jean-Baptiste
Situation des esclaves dans les colonies françaises, urgence de l'émancipation
Book
Paris
Pagnerre
1845
French
Abolition Campaigns;Travel Writings
Bibliothèque de la Société de l'histoire du Protestantisme français, Paris. Bibliothèque Nationale de France. British Library. Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London.
Slavery French Colonies Emancipation Immediate Abolition Witness
Former colonial magistrate Rouvellat de Cussac by writing this eye-witness account of slavery in the Caribbean colonies, aimed to make the French public aware of this: "shame of a nation which has long been at the forefront of European civilisation, due to its gentle manners and enlightened views" (7). He describes the treatment of the slaves in the French colonies, and gives details of the crimes committed against them. He calls slavery a "poison" or "pestilence" which spreads from port to port, infecting the judiciary, the church, the ruling class, and which has been able to penetrate to the heart of "European civilisation" (10), and complains that any magistrate with a regard for truth and justice is treated as "a traitor in league with the English, or worse, an abolitionist, or even worse than that, a Templar" (144). Rouvellat suggests that anyone unconvinced of the need for immediate abolition should go to British West Indian islands and speak to the French escaped slaves there, who would tell them the tortures they had suffered (210).