Eliezer Cadet

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Lecba Elizier Cadet (born c. May 1897)[1] was a Haitian Vodou priest[2] who, in 1919 attended the Paris Peace Conference and First Pan African Congress on behalf of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).[3]

Eliezer was born in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, the son of Mesinor Pierre Cadet, a wealthy dyewood manufacturer.[4] He attended the College of Saint-Louis de Gonzague and subsequently supported himself as a car mechanic in Paris. Here he met Nancy Cunard.[5]

Paris Peace conference[edit]

Initially, the International League for Darker People, an umbrella organisation comprising the UNIA, had planned to send Ida B. Wells and A. Philip Randolph as delegates, with Cadet as interpreter. But as US authorities denied both Wells and Randolph passports and visas, the UNIA's Cadet, a Haitian national, became the organisations' sole delegate.[6] Cadet left the US at the end of February 1919 for Le Havre, returning on December 1, 1919, to New York.[7] While in Paris, his efforts to contact official delegates were mostly unsuccessful, except for a meeting with Liberian delegate Charles D. B. King, who refused to support the UNIA's demand that control of the former German colonies should be given to Africans and the African diaspora. Cadet's reports to Marcus Garvey, claiming that his efforts had been sabotaged by the NAACPs delegate W. E. B. Du Bois, led to a break between Garvey and Du Bois.[8]

Later life[edit]

Cadet went on to become a Hougan (Vodou priest) associated with the loa Damballa.[4]


  1. ^ Ellis Island immigration records give his age on October 17, 1917, as "20 years, 5 months".
  2. ^ Le Musée Vivant 24 Année Série D Numero 8, October–December 1960, p. 159.
  3. ^ Race First, by Tony Martin, Dover, Massachusetts: Majority Press, 1976, p. 122.
  4. ^ a b Hill, Robert A. (1983). The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919. University of California Press. p. 308. 
  5. ^ Thomson, Ian (2012). Bonjour Blanc: A Journey Through Haiti. Random House. 
  6. ^ Colin Grant: Negro With a Hat. The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 174 f.
  7. ^ According to Ellis Island immigration records.
  8. ^ Colin Grant: Negro With a Hat. The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 176-83.