Julien Fédon

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Julien Fédon
Born ??
Died 1796?
Unknown (possibly in a canoe in the sea)
Occupation landowner
Spouse(s) Marie Rose Cavelan

Julien Fédon (? - 1796?), also called Julien "Fedon," "Foedon," "Feydon," and "Fidon," [1] was the leader of a slave revolt that took place in Grenada between March 2, 1795 and June 19, 1796. Thus, the rebellion is known as the Fedon Rebellion. The rebellion broke out in a year that gave rise to various slave revolts in the Caribbean, from Cuba and Jamaica to Coro, Venezuela. While rumors of the existence of rebels on the Trinidad Island was influenced, apparently, by the Grenadian revolt. [2] During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Fedon was considered a folk hero in Grenada, and influenced the nationalist leaders and revolutionaries of the island. [1]


Julien Fedon was born on the island of Martinique.[1] Fedon was the son of Pierre Fedon, a French jeweler who traveled from Bordeaux, France, in 1749 to the island of Martinique. His mother, meanwhile, was a free black slave of Martinica. The family moved to Grenada in the 1750s, when the island was still under French rule. [3] However, according to historian Edward Cox, noted researcher of Julien Fédon, Fédon seem not to have lived on the island in 1772 and probably he would have migrated to it later.[1] Already in Grenada, he was the owner of the farm in the Belvedere Estate, in Saint John Parish. [1] He was appointed commanding general of the French republican forces in Guadaloupe island.[3][4]

Fedon began the revolt on the night of March 2, 1795 to abolish slavery, converting slaves into citizens, and eliminate British colonial rule, returning it to the French people. [1][3]To do this, he fought against the landlords and white British bourgeois, with the help of several troops formed by around 100 freed slaves and mulattoes. [3] The attacks went so coordinate, against the cities of Grenville and Gouyave. [2] The rebels looted and burned houses and dragged into the streets to British settlers, after which they were executed. After returning to the mountains of Belvedere, the rebels joined a large group of slaves who had abandoned the plantations where they worked. In the mountains, Fedon established several fortifications to face the British attacks.[3] Thus Rebellion allowed them to control the whole island except the St. George Parish, the place where stood the seat of government.[2] During those months, about 14,000 of the 28,000 slaves on Grenada at the time were allied to the revolutionary forces, with many French people who had seen that their land, Grenada, was ceded to the British in 1763, and that of French Catholics in the island, excluded from civil and political rights because of their religion, and that wanted oust the British from the island.[2] In the war against the whites, some 7,000 of these slaves were killed.[2]

The April 8, 1796, a brother of Fédon died because to a British attack in its field. To avenge the death of his brother, Fédon ordered the execution of 48 prisoners (of the 53 that he had[5]) who were with him on the mountain, including Governor Ninian Home. Fédon´s attack failed when run against St. George. The historians considered that the failure of this attack was the source of his defeat. Also, on many occasions, Fedon allowed the regrouping and strengthening of the British, without launching any attack on them. Thus, the British were able to defeat the troops of Fédon.[3]

The forces of Fédon were defeated the next day on the steep hills and ridges near Mt Qua Qua. The few surviving rebels flung themselves down the mountain. Fedon was never captured and his whereabouts is unknown after the revolution. It is believed, however, that he may have tried to flee the island by canoe, which could have sunk when it was already at a distance from the island.[1]


Fedon was influenced both by the French Revolution in France, the French Revolutionary leaders on Guadeloupe, and the Haitian Revolution. So, Fedon had a firm intention to make of Grenada a new Black republic, following the Guadeloupe model. Also his followers (notably Jean-Pierre La Vallette, Nogues Charles Besson Stanislaus, Ventour Joahim Etienne and Phillip) were influenced by the French Revolution, developed in the summer of 1789, pursuing freedom, equality and fraternity, of which referred the treaty of this Revolution and stating that all men were equal.

Fedon's revolution and its ideology of the French Revolution also attracted the participation of French-born Grenadian, who had seen that their homeland, Grenada, was ceded to the British in 1763, and that of French Catholics in the island, excluded from civil and political rights because of their religion.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Julien Fedon married Marie Rose Cavelan, a mulatto, in 1787, and they settled in the state of Baldivere in 1791, in the Saint John Parish.[3]


The mountain that was his field staff during the time in which he held the revolution, located on the former estate of Belvidere Estate, parish of Saint John, in the center of Grenada, is the only place in Grenada that bears his name. Thus, the mountain, whose original name was Morne Vauclain is called, currently, Morne Fedon (which literally means "Mountain of Fedon"). However, the surname Fedon has completely disappeared from Grenada.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h THE FÉDONS OF GRENADA, 1763-1814. Posted by Curtis Jacobs. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f THE FEDON REBELLION (MARCH 2, 1795-JUNE 19, 1796). Posted by Caldwell Taylor. Retrieved March 10, 2013, to 19: 00 pm
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Books Google: Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Page 136. Wrote by Paul Crask. First publication: January, 2009.
  4. ^ Books Google: The Last Caribbean Frontier, 1795-1815. Wrote by Kit Candlin. First publication: 2012
  5. ^ Accounts of the prisoners may be found in the Anglican or Catholic Church in Gouyave, Grenada.

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