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François Mackandal

February 19, 2016



François Mackandal was a Maroon leader and a Voodoo Priest (Hougan) from one of the three countries Senegal, Mali, or Guinea that died in 1758. Some argue that he was a Muslim man because of his origin of birth. He was an orator with excellent eloquence in comparison to the European orators of his time, yet different in his superior influence and vigor. He was known as fearless and thorough though he only had one hand due to an accident. Speculations are he lost his right arm in a farming accident when it got caught in a sugarcane press and was crushed between the rollers.


François fled from slavery and organized one of the most successful revolutions known today as The Mackandal Revolution. Mackandal organized a guerrilla warfare, its main objective was to use poisonous herbs from the island and mix it with meals and beverages for the French to consume who lived in the capital of the providence. The poisoned foods and drinks would be a subtle attack and Whites would go into convulsions and die painfully. He drafted a list of all the members of his group; and selected captains, lieutenants, and other officers to arrange Haitians to travel into town with to expand over the plains to massacre White planters. They ransacked plantations at night, burned property, and kill the plantation owners causing the Whites to Mackabdal's revenge. There was an estimated over 6,000 Whites slave owners died during Mackandal Revolution. 


Mackandal's audacity led to his capture in in 1758. The French authorities feared that Mackandal would influence the Whites to leave Haiti, thus losing profits and land. Mackandal was captured when he visited a plantation and became inebriated. A female slave betrayed him while she was being tortured into confessing his whereabouts. French authorities captured him and burned Mackandal alive in a public spectacle in Cap Haitian. Mackandal had stated he was immortal, and because of his statement many slaves believed Mackandal didn't really die but instead transformed into a fly or mosquito to avoid being burden alive. The Mackandal Revolution died off after his death but it was a prerequisite for organizing a rebellion before the French Revolution. 

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Mackandal & http://www.hougansydney.com/haitian-heroes/mackandal

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