At the end of the 18th century, Grenada was the stage for a year-long rebellion by free Black people to make the British colony another Haiti. This is the Fedon Rebellion.
THE FEDON REBELLION
Julien Fedon was a wealthy, free mulatto who owned Belvedere Estate, the headquarters for this revolt. A year prior he made his intents known that he wanted Grenada to be a Black republic—after all Black people did most of the labor in the colony and made up the bulk of its population.
Fedon had grown bitter at the treatment of Black people by the British and wanted to take action. Worth noting is that Fedon not only owned the 450-acre Belvedere Estate but he also bought it from a planter and owned 80 slaves. The rebels wanted to end British rule in Grenada as well as slavery and restore French rule.
The revolt started March 2, 1795, first with a force of 100 free Black and mulatto people. The rebel forces were based in the mountains of Grenada where Fedon had defenses established. Near the end of the rebellion, Fedon’s brother was killed by the British. In retaliation he had 48 British prisoners executed, among them was the governor of Grenada.
Between 14,000 and 28,000 slaves were supporting the group. Also supporting him were French supporters who wanted the British off the island. The British had a hard time dealing with Fedon and his group and the revolt went on for more than a year.
Fedon’s force had control of the island for most of the rebellion but St. George Parish remained out of their reach. Eventually, his group was defeated in June 1796 and order was restored. By the end of the rebellion some 7,000 slaves had been killed during the fighting. Fedon himself was never captured with the common belief being that he died at sea on a canoe.
The whole time, the Fedon Rebellion was depicted unfavorably in the British press with the French Revolution being blamed for giving the Black population ideas.