This is an excerpt from a civil case against Pierre Lesens, the captain of the slave ship La Furieuse. Apart from the charges against Lesens, this report chronicles portions of the Middle Passage where captives were transported as slaves to various trading posts only to finally land in the colony of Saint-Domingue.
This report nominates and appoints M. le Marquis du Chilleau as Governor of the island of Saint-Domingue. Much like the Arrêt du roi [Judgment from the State Council of the King ], this document presents one of the few moments where King Louis XVI directly intervenes in events surrounding the grain disputes of 1789.
In this royal decree, which modifies a similar decree issued in August 1784, the French government sought to introduce more slaves to the windward colonies of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, and Tobago; encourage the importation of raw Saint Lucian sugar; and provide an influx of slaves to the Southern ports of Les Cayes-Saint-Louis to make up for a lack of sufficient labor. Showing the interconnectedness and interdependence of the colonies in the French Caribbean, this pamphlet also reveals how certain regions and islands received less attention than the more economically viable regions of Saint-Domingue like Le Cap and Port-au-Prince.
This pamphlet, dating from 1784, outlines the trade laws established in the French Caribbean islands. The nineteen articles ordered by King Louis XVI offer details regarding what may be exchanged during trade, tax laws and the differences in regulation between foreign and domestic ships.