Before The Haitian Revolution: Vincent Oge Part 2

1 Posted by - June 27, 2023 - Black History, BLACK MEN

Vincent Oge was a bright, wealthy, ambitious free Black man who wanted more political freedom for wealthy Black men in Saint-Domingue. To the French government, this would seem like moving the mountains due to the fear of what would happen to slavery. These two sides would clash in 1791 with the start of the Oge Rebellion.

The Slight

By October 1790, Vincent Oge and company returned to Saint-Domingue. Earlier that year, a new amendment came down from France’s General Assembly. It stated property owners should “be active citizens” and Oge interpreted this as wealthy free Blacks had voting rights. He pushed the Count de Blanchelande, Saint-Domingue’s governor on the issue.

As expected, Blanchelande refused to hear Oge. This didn’t sit well with him at all and extremes would be taken. He would issue a letter to the Assembly laying out the history of his group’s move to get voting rights and demand that the March amendment be extended to free Blacks.

Most interesting is that Vincent Oge mentions that the intent was never to include enslaved Blacks or dark skinned Blacks in his movement. He actually states that ” I shall not call the plantations to rise; that means would be unworthy of me” and “I did not include in my claims the condition of the negroes who live in servitude. You and our adversaries have misrepresented my steps in order to bring me into discredit with honorable men.”

The Oge Rebellion

When Oge returned to Saint-Domingue, he began gathering forces for an attack. Numbering between 250 and 300, Oge’s manage to turn around the Cap-Francais militia sent to quash them later in October. The following month Oge’s group took heavy losses against trained soldiers.

Oge and his remaining rebels fled into Santo Domingo. By November 20, the rebels were round up by the Spanish and returned to Saint-Domingue. As expected they were given death and met their fates in February 1791.

Being the leader, Vincent Oge was given the worst death: breaking on the wheel. The 35-year old’s execution was carried out in public as a warning. Like many of these incidents, news got around the Caribbean quick. As a result, the early 19th century would see France lose power via the Haiti Revolution.



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