Georges Biassou 1741, Haiti – 1801,
Jorge Biassou was born "Georges," on the island of Hispaniola. He was the son of slaves in the world's most lucrative colony, French Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). .
With Jean François and Jeannot, he was prophesied by the vodou priest, Dutty Boukman, to lead the revolution.
He was an early leader of the 1791 slave rising in Saint-Domingue that began the Haitian Revolution where thousands of abused slaves rose up and poured out their fury on the "great whites." Biassou, then fifty years old, joined them and quickly assumed the rebel leadership with Jean Francois. Biassou commanded 40,000 ex-slaves as they burned plantations and murdered white slave owners.
Like some other slave leaders, he fought with the Spanish royalists against the French Revolutionaryauthorities in colonial Haiti. .
Defeated by his former ally Toussaint Louverture, 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 was Florida's only black caudillo (a militant political leader), and came with his own Haitian entourage. .
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.
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