Black inhabitants of France

“Black Inhabitants of France,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, February 27, 1911. PHOTO/Fort de Joux, [juin 1923] : [photographie de presse]/[Agence Rol], Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (1029)

Lying so much off the beaten track, the village of Port Lesne, in the Jura department of France, is visited by but few from the outside world, and consequently this tiny community of men and women of color is but little known. It is not a large village, for its inhabitants number only about a hundred, but everyone is either black or copper colored. It owes its origin to the fact that about a century ago the famous negro chief, Toussaint L’Overture was brought from Haiti and imprisoned in Fort de Joux. Many of his friends, all negroes, followed him and encamped near his prison on the bank of the little River Loue. From that encampment grew the village of Port Lesne, and when Toussaint L’Overture died more than 100 years ago his friends decided to remain in France. The passing of years and intermarriages have transformed the settlement into a French village of colored folk, all of whom are enfranchised.

Public Archive for more

Comments are closed.