SEPTEMBER 19, 1795


On August 17, 1795, Tula Rigaud, described as African & Indigenous, led an uprising of 40-50 people at Bandabou. After freeing people from a jail, they went from farm to farm, freeing more people. Another French slave, Louis Mercier, led a group to Santa Cruz and took the commandant & 10 soldiers as prisoners before rejoining Tula. After the first Dutch attack on Tula’s forces at Portomari failed, the governor sent 93 well-armed horsemen to renew the attack. Attempts at negotiating failed as Tula refused to accept anything less than freedom. In the ensuing fight, the rebels suffered 9 dead & 12 captured. The rest, including Tula, escaped. On September 19, Tula was betrayed and captured. He was publicly tortured to death on October 3, 1795. While the Dutch granted some rights to slaves after the rebellion, the institution was not abolished on Curaçao until 1863. August 17th is now celebrated as the beginning of the liberation struggle. 

 Junius P. Rodriguez (ed.) “Tula (Rigaud) (d. 1795), Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion, Greenwood Milestones in African American History, Vol. 2.  Retrieved 9/4/2022, Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion - Google Books
“1795: Tula, Curacao’s Nat Turner, “Executed Today.  Retrieved 9/4/2022, » tula rigaud
Painting:  Edsel Selburie, undated. Painting of what Tula might have looked like. Permissive Use.

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