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1811 German Coast uprising

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**Uprising Details and Participants:**
– The 1811 German Coast uprising occurred in Louisiana post-American Revolutionary War.
– Escaped slave Jean Saint Malo established a maroon colony on the German Coast.
– Enslaved individuals primarily young men aged 20-30 participated in the revolt.
– Leaders like Charles Deslondes, Kook, Pierre Griffee, and Hans Wimprenn were involved.
– Militia confrontation on January 10 resulted in the deaths of escapees.
– Enslaved laborers, lower-skilled and harshly treated, used pikes, hoes, and axes during the revolt.
– Approximately 10-25% of enslaved populations from various plantations joined the uprising.
– Native American trackers and hunting dogs assisted in capturing rebels.

**Rebellion Timeline and Suppression:**
– Uprising began on January 8–10, 1811, at the Andry plantation in LaPlace.
– Rebels marched from LaPlace to New Orleans, burning plantations along the way.
– Militia confrontation on January 10 led to the deaths of escapees.
– Militia companies were formed to suppress the rebellion.
– Post-trial executions and trials of captured escapees took place.
– Colonel Andry organized a militia to pursue escaping slaves.
– General Wade Hampton I, Commodore John Shaw, and Governor Claiborne sent forces to fight the rebels.

**Aftermath and Legacy:**
– Trials at three locations led to the execution of captured rebels.
– Governor Claiborne oversaw the trials and commuted some death sentences.
– Approximately 95 enslaved individuals were killed during the uprising and its aftermath.
– The rebellion is commemorated annually since 1995.
– The African American History Alliance of Louisiana leads the annual commemoration.
– Whitney Plantation and the 1811 Kid Ory Historic House honor the slave experience.
– A massive re-enactment of the uprising occurred in 2019.

**Historical Context and Related Events:**
– The uprising occurred in the Territory of Orleans during a sugar boom.
– Majority of enslaved persons were born outside Louisiana.
– The rebellion is connected to the Haitian Revolution.
– Other related events include Denmark Vesey and Gabriel Prosser’s rebellions.
– The Destrehan Plantation and the history of slavery in Louisiana are linked to the revolt.

**References and Publications:**
– Various books and publications cover the 1811 German Coast uprising.
– Works by authors like Herbert Aptheker, Stanley Engerman, and Robert Paquette provide in-depth studies.
– References from sources like National Archives, Library of Congress, and major publishers like Oxford University Press are available.
– Diverse topics such as slave revolts, civil records, and the sugar industry in the South are covered in the bibliography.

The 1811 German Coast uprising was a revolt of slaves in parts of the Territory of Orleans on January 8–10, 1811. The uprising occurred on the east bank of the Mississippi River in what is now St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and Jefferson Parishes, Louisiana. The slave insurgency was the largest in U.S. history, but the rebels killed only two White men. Confrontations with militia, combined with post-trial executions, resulted in the deaths of 95 slaves.

1811 German Coast uprising
Part of the Slave Revolts in North America
DateJanuary 8–10, 1811
Result Suppression of uprising
Enslaved Africans Local planters
Militia and regulars
Commanders and leaders
Charles Deslondes  Executed Wade Hampton I
John Shaw
William C. C. Claiborne
200–500 enslaved Africans and African Americans 2 companies of volunteer militia, 30 regular troops and 40 seamen
Casualties and losses
95 total killed from skirmishes and sentencing after trials 2 killed

Between 64 and 125 enslaved men marched from sugarcane plantations in and near present-day LaPlace on the German Coast toward the city of New Orleans. They collected more men along the way. Some accounts claimed a total of 200 to 500 enslaved persons participated. During their two-day, twenty-mile march, the men burned five plantation houses (three completely), several sugarhouses, and crops. They were armed mostly with hand tools.

Men led by officials of the territory formed militia companies, and in a battle on January 10 killed 40 to 45 of the people escaping slavery while suffering no fatalities themselves, then hunted down and killed several other people without trial. Over the next two weeks, White planters and officials interrogated, tried, executed, and decapitated an additional 44 people escaping slavery who had been captured. Executions were generally by hanging or firing squad. Heads were displayed on pikes to intimidate others.

Since 1995, the African American History Alliance of Louisiana has led an annual commemoration in January of the uprising, in which they have been joined by some descendants of participants in the revolt.

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