September 1870 - The Southern Uprising
On the traces of
We follow in the Footsteps of Lumina, one of the leaders of the Southern uprising, at Croix-Codé.
Codé fled on the evening of Thursday, September 22 through the cane fields, the undergrowth, the cocoa and coffee trees. It is said that he hid in a pig pen where a little girl brings him food! The path that we follow through the countryside, from the factory to Croix-Codé (which people call Croix-Godet), is more or less that of its stalking and one of those traveled by insurgent women and men. It is estimated in particular that Lumina, pregnant, covered, through the tracks, a hundred kilometers on foot in less than four days. She is described exhorting the troops, scolding the hesitant and pointing out which dwellings should be burnt down.
Codé is spotted on Saturday September 24 at 6 am by Madeleine Clem who alerts the population with loud cries while keeping Codé at bay with two large stones.
Codé is executed by the insurgents. The autopsy reveals 17 stab wounds and cutlass. Witnesses assure us that Rosanie Soleil would have cut off his testicles that she would have salted and spiced up as one does for a pig. Interrogated at the trial, she denies. She will nevertheless be sentenced to 5 years in prison.
After the death of Codé, the insurrection continues but groups of volunteers come to join the military troops and increase the forces of repression, as in the days of slavery when it was necessary to fight the rebels and the brown negroes!
The village of Rivière Pilote was occupied on the 24th.
The insurgents, men and women, are spread over several camps. The most important is that of Lacaille in Régale, with the "army" of Telga where Lumina Sophie plays the role of leader. The women are very active there - for example Morigène Lacaille who gave the “baths prepared” by his quimboiseur father. Their task, in addition to the traditionally female stewardship roles, is to stand in the front line with bottles of chili water and sharp pikes so that the men armed with a few bad guns can then attack the attackers. It's the same tactic at Peters Maillet, at the Holy Spirit. It fails because the forces of repression are over-equipped with their modern hunting pots. It is a real carnage among the insurgents, men and women.
Lumina was arrested on September 26 at Régale on the dwelling of Lacaille and was imprisoned at Fort Desaix.
Several hundred dead, 500 arrests at Fort Desaix. And among, many women.
On April 28, 1871, Lumina Sophie known as Surprise gives birth to her son in the central prison of Fort-de-France, the child will be taken from him, he will die 14 months later.
On June 8, she was sentenced to forced labor for life.
On December 22, she was deported to the Bagne de Saint-Laurent du Maroni.
On December 15, 1879, she died at the age of 31, grief and mistreatment having overcome her remarkable constitution and her iron energy.
By breaking it, the colonial regime made her pay for the uprising of the rural population of southern Martinique, the fact of being a woman and at the same time, rebel, determined, autonomous, united ...
Historical advisor: Gilbert Pago
Coordinators: Huguette Bellemare and George Arnauld
Assistant: Laurie Nirennold
Illustrations: Bruno Dulthéo
Production: Les Carots' are Cooked
© Culture Equality In Lumina's Footsteps August 2021