Images: Black Abolitionists in France

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Chevalier de Saint George

Print collection. > Caribbean area. > Caribbean area - General.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Photographs and Prints Division

ID# 1260927

Chevalier de Saint George

Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint George (1745-1799) born in Guadeloupe, was the son of the wealthy George de Bologne de Saint-Georges, and Anne called Nanon, a young enslaved Senegalese. The family settled in France where Joseph became a European champion swordsman, celebrated composer and violinist. In 1789, Saint-George embraced the French revolution and its ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity and led a legion of black men, the "Légion Franche de Cavalerie des Américains et du Midi", to defend it. He participated in a campaign headed by blacks in Paris to abolish the slave trade and slavery.