Monday, April 25, 2005

History of Guadeloupe

History of Guadeloupe. Offers a general overview to the history of the Fench colony of Guadeloupe.

From the site:

Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635. The island of Saint Martin is shared with the Netherlands; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles and its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe was discovered by Columbus in 1493, and received its name in honour of the monastery of S. Maria de Guadalupe at Estremadura in Spain. In 1635 L'Olive and Duplessis took possession of it in the name of the French Company of the Islands of America, and L'Olive exterminated the Caribs with great cruelty.

Four chartered companies were ruined in their attempts to colonize the island, and in 1674 it passed into the possession of the French crown and long remained a dependency of Martinique. After unsuccessful attempts in 1666, 1691 and 1703, the British captured the island in 1759, and held it for four years. Guadeloupe was finally separated from Martinique in 1775, but it remained under the governor of the French Windward Islands. In 1782, Rodney defeated the French fleet near the island, and the British again obtained possession in April 1794, but in the following summer they were driven out by Victor Hugues with the assistance of the slaves whom he had liberated for the purpose.

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