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Mixed Historical Figures Page 3

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André Rigaud

Haitian Mulatto general in the wars that liberated Haiti. Educated, but vain, he believed in the superiority of mulattoes. He sought (1798–1800) unsuccessfully to wrest the leadership from Toussaint L’Ouverture. In 1802 he went to France, returned with General Leclerc, and was sent back again as a prisoner. In 1810, once again on Haitian soil, he tried to overthrow Alexandre Pétion in the south. Defeated, he died, presumably by starving himself to death.


Alexandre Pétion

A Mulatto Haitian revolutionist. After taking part in the expulsion (1798) of the English from Haiti, he joined (1799) André Rigaud against Toussaint L’Ouverture and commanded the heroic but tragic defense of Jacmel, a southern port. Exiled, he returned with the French army under Leclerc in 1802. Rejoining the patriots because he feared the reestablishment of slavery, Pétion, after the death of Dessalines, engaged in a fierce but inconclusive struggle with Henri Christophe for control of Haiti. In 1807 he was chosen president for life of the republic in S Haiti. He confiscated the great French plantations, divided the land among the peasants, and gave his people unprecedented freedom.


Lemuel Haynes

He was the illegitimate child of a Black man and the daughter of a socially prominent White family in Hartford, Connecticut. As the first black in America to serve as pastor of a white congregation, Haynes ministered to Rutland's West Parish for thirty years after 1783. Middlebury College gave Haynes an honorary degree (another unprecedented event) at its second commencement in 1804. He filled pulpits in Bennington, Manchester, and Granville, New York, before his death at the age of eighty.


Samuel Coleridge Taylor

The son of a Sierra Leonean doctor and and English mother. At the age of fifteen, Coleridge Taylor entered the Royal College of Music to study the violin and he also studied composition with Stanford. His best known work, which was immensely popular during his lifetime, is "Hiawatha", a trilogy based upon poems by Longfellow. He also wrote other works, such as the songs "African Romances", the "African Suite" for piano, and "Five Choral Ballads", a setting of poems on slavery by Longfellow, which include influences from native African music. He visited America several times, in 1904, 1906, and 1910, where he was lionised as a role model for black composers. and was even received by President Roosevelt. He died in Croydon, in 1912


Mary Seacole

Her mother was a free Black woman and her father was a Scottish army officer. Seacole became famous among the troops for nursing soldiers in the Crimean war. On the battlefield she nursed the wounded and was known by the name of 'Mother Seacole'. Even though she met Florence Nightingale, she was not invited to join her nursing team. When she returned to England in 1856, she was not recognized for the work and achievements in the Crimea and after suffering from bankruptcy she decided to publish her life story to raise money. Her autobiography is titled The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.


Chevalier de Saint Georges

His mother, Nanon, was an African slave. His father, George de
Bologne Saint-Georges, was a French plantation owner. One of the earliest musicians of African ancestry to make a major impression in the world of European concert music. He soon became acknowledged as one of the foremost swordsmen in France, while also developing his gifts as a violinist and composer. By 1771, he had achieved sufficient stature as a musician to be appointed concertmaster of the well-known Concert des Amateurs. He continued to play an important role in Parisian musical life until about 1785, when fencing and a military career began to demand most of his time.
Vincent Oge Haitian revolutionist and national hero. A free mulatto, well educated and comparatively wealthy, he was sent to plead before the National Assembly at the outbreak of the French Revolution for the concession of civil rights to free mulattoes and for the emancipation of slaves in Haiti. Failing in his mission, he returned to Haiti in 1790 and, when the French governor refused to remove restrictions, he tried to start a revolt amongst the mixed race population of St-Domingue. Because he ignored the advice of one of his associates to draw in the blacks, Oge was easily defeated. Ogé was tried, convicted of treason. On conviction, his elbows and knees were crushed with hammers and he was then tied to a wheel and left face upwards in the sun to die.

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