Friday 30 August 2013

The Historical Society of Trinidad and Tobago


Publication No 482.

The Chevalier de Jobal, Commandant of Tobago
to the Minister of the Colonies. 1789.

Source: Paris. Archives Nationales.
State Papers Colonial. C 10. E 11.

Published by the courtesy of the Minister 
of the Colonies. Paris.

Translated from the French

                                                Port Louis.
                                                   1st March 1790.



        The Chevalier de Jobal regrets to report that the insubordination amongst the troops has not ceased. A return to order and quiet had been expected when the 1st Battalion of the Guadeloupe Regiment replaced the 3rd Battalion.

Unfortunately, the change was not a complete one since the Compagnies de Mallet and de Cordelier, remained in Tobago. It was these Compagnies which had caused the troubles in November 1789; and they have now infected the other three Compagnies.

On Mardi Gras, the soldiers presented to me some ridiculous and vexatious requisitions. I tried to quiet
them and reason with them but they were very troublesome and only settled down after some money and wine had been distributed.

Two days later, the soldiers took up their arms and refused to obey their officers. They ... Robelin and Darsonval as their Chiefs and made violent threats against those in authority and promised to cut him (the Commandant) into small pieces and sell them at one sol a pound.

In about a week, he had managed to cool them down and bring them back to obedience. In this, he had been greatly assisted by Monsieur Masse, the Ordonnateur, and Captains Despres and Michon. The Chevalier claimed to have discovered the secret cause of this rebellion. He found that the soldiers were talking about Messrs Bosque, Orelier and Guya, all of whom had been convicted in the Criminal Courts and had left Tobago three months before the arrival of these troops.

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