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Friday, July 1, 2022


Soon after the arrival of the new settlers at the island of
Saint-Christophe, in May, 1627, the English governor, Sir Thomas Warner
and the French commander, Sieur Belain d'Esnambuc, signed an agreement of partition, dividing the island between the two nations. In a further division, Belain d'Esnambuc chose the northern cappesterre region, while Du Roissey got the southern or bassterre section. In the treaty, Sir Thomas Warner and Pierre Belain, Sieur d'Esnambuc agreed to aid each other, should there be an attack by the Spanish or war with the Carib tribes. Each colony would regulate trade with their nation. They would share the fresh water and the salt ponds.
Because so many prospective settlers had been lost during the crossing, the two French leaders decided to appeal to France for additional help. The ships were loaded with cotton and tobacco and with other goods and sent to France with Du Roissey in charge.
Upon his arrival in France, Du Roissey was recruited by Isaac Razzily for a secret mission to Ireland. Du Roissey sold his cargo and without a second thought of his fellow-colonists on the island of Saint-Christophe, set off on the mission to Ireland, where he remained several months.
The Dutch Save The French Colony
On Saint-Christophe, while waiting for the return of Du Roissey, the French settlers were nearing starvation. A Dutch merchant ship, arriving to do business with the English rescued the French settlers by allowing them supplies on credit against future crops of tobacco,cotton and other goods. In this way, the fledgling French colony was saved by the Dutch.
When Du Roissey returned from Ireland, he was again hired by The Company of Saint-Christophe, since no one could be found who was willing to sail to the islands. Du Roissey left France in May, 1628, in the ship La Cardinale, with 150 new recruits. His crew and prospective settlers fared no better than in the first crossing.
Sir Thomas Warner, the English Governor, was doing much better in his English colony since the English were emptying their jails and sending the inmates to the colonies. They were also sending thousands of Irish, who were religious prisoners. These were Irish Catholics, who had refused to yield to the Protestant religion of England. While the French were selective and numbered only a few hundred colonists, the English numbered in the thousands.
Among the French settlers were younger sons, who had little or no hope of an inheritance. They were in search of adventure. There were debtors trying to escape their creditors and also, a few persons of less-than- honorable past. A few hot-headed youths who did not like the new ban on dueling had also joined the settlers. The greater majority, however, were the peasants, who were trying to escape their miserable existence in the fiefdoms and were looking for a better life. also included were some artisans who had lost their employment in France.
They too, were seeking a better life.
The Europeans Are Saved By A Carib Woman
Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc easily made friends with the Carib Inhabitants of the islands. Being a bachelor, d'Esnambuc had established an intimate relationship with a young Carib woman named Dalilas. When the Carib warriors made a plan to massacre all the white Europeans, it was Dalilas who saved the colonists. Not wishing to see her lover killed, Dalilas revealed the plot to d'Esnambuc and thus prevented a massacre.
The French and the English joined forces for protection against raids by the Caribs. One night, soon after the Caribs' plot had been revealed, the joint forces of English and French went to the Carib camp and killed many warriors, as they slept. Both English and French captured Carib women and enslaved them to gratify their sexual needs.
In retaliation, on the next full moon, an army of several thousand Caribs came in their war canoes to attack the European settlers. The European ships in the harbor used their cannon against the canoes.
But before they retreated, the Caribs killed at least one hundred of the
Europeans. After the failed attempt to annhiliate the white settlers on Saint- Christophe, the Caribs left and moved to Guadeloupe.
By 1519, all of the Greater Antilles, what is now Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico had been conquered by the Spanish. But though the had tried many times, the Spanish had not been able to conquer the Lesser Antilles.
Anne-Marie Danet

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