Georges Biassou (1741, Haiti – 1801, Saint Augustine, Florida) was an early leader of the 1791 slave rising in Saint-Domingue that began the Haïtian Revolution. With Jean François and Jeannot, he was prophesied by the vodou priest, Dutty Boukman, to lead the revolution.
Like some other slave leaders, he fought with the Spanish royalists against the French Revolutionary authorities in colonial Haïti. During this period, he had Jeannot put to death for excessive cruelty in warfare. (Jean-François was the one who executed Jeannot. According to the Haitian Historian Thomas Madiou, Jean-François did not execute Jeannot for his cruelties but because he began to undermine his authorities).
Defeated by his former ally Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had allied with the French after they promised to free the slaves, Biassou remained in service to the Spanish Crown. He withdrew from Santo Domingo in 1795 and moved with his family to Florida, which was then part of the Spanish colony of Cuba.
In Florida, Biassou changed his first name to Jorge. Spanish leaders put him in charge of the black militia in Florida. He began to build alliances there when his brother-in-law married a fugitive from South Carolina. Florida had provided refuge for both planters and slaves during the American Revolution.
1. Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998) p. 306-307
2. Thomas Madiou. Histoire d'Haiti. Tome 1 1482-1799. Éditions Henri Deschamps,p. 98.
- Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998) p. 306-307
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