1811 Louisiana Slave Revolt
One-hundred and seventy-eight years ago on this day in people’s history, the largest slave revolt ever in the U.S. occurred in Louisiana. On January 8th, 1811, Charles Deslondes led an insurgent band of hundreds towards the city of New Orleans. Starting in Saint Charles and Saint James Parish in Louisiana, the rebelling slaves marched from plantation to plantation along the eastern bank of the Mississippi gaining new recruits along the way. Armed with plantation tools, clubs and captured munitions, Deslondes’ rebels killed two whites and burned three plantations down before the revolt ended two days after it commenced. Plantation owners assembled militias backed by the U.S. army and defeated the slave insurgents just outside New Orleans. Nearly a hundred slaves were killed and executed in the rebellion including Charles Deslondes while others were forced to return to their plantations.
The decapitated heads of the executed rebels were placed on poles to serve as a warning, however, as history shows, slave revolts did not cease. The gruesome displays then only showed the barbarity of the slave owners.