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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTHE FRENCH RETURN TO SAINT-CHRISTOPHE

THE FRENCH RETURN TO SAINT-CHRISTOPHE

In 1629, France sent the Sieur de Cahuzac to dislodge the English from Saint-Christophe or to obtain an agreement with them to form an alliance against a Spanish invasion.
When the English commander, Edward Warner, who was ruling while his father was in England, tried to stall, Cahuzac weighed anchor and sailed to the English roadstead. There he opened fire on the English vessels lying off-shore. The French victory was complete! Three vessels were captured and three others were driven ashore. The rest escaped out to sea.
The following day, Warner came to the French flagship under a flag of truce, to protest the attack. Negotiations continued for two days until finally, the French and the English signed a new treaty of alliance against the Spanish.
Cahuzac, feeling that he had done his duty, sent his lieutenant, Captain Giron to investigate the area, searching for the Spanish. No trace of the Spanish was found so Cahuzac dismantled his command and went to Saint-Eustacia, thinking that Don Fadrique had left the area.
In our previous installment, we told how the French were evicted from Saint-Christophe by the Spanish and how the French ships were driven to Saint-Martin by a storm. We told how d"Esnambuc settled some of his colonists on Anguilla, Saint-Barthelemy and on Saint-Martin and how he took the rest to Antigua, where Captain Giron agreed to help him resettle on Saint-Christophe.
We continue now, with the return of the French to Christophe.
After the Spanish left, the English took over the whole island of Saint-Christophe. All those who had hidden in the hills returned to the settlement.
When Captain Giron arrived at Saint-Christophe, the English refused to allow him to land. Giron was not about to allow them to keep the island, so he attacked. Giron captured two English vessels which were riding at anchor in the harbor and he took them away.
With the two English vessels and his own, Giron sailed back to Montserrat for d'Esnambuc and his colonists. They sailed to Anguilla,Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin to rescue the settlers who had been left there. All the colonists totaled 400 people.
The colonists rescued, Giron and d'Esnambuc sailed back to Saint-Christophe to claim their colony from the hostile Warner. The fields had been burned, the tobacco crops sacked, but the other crops had not been totally destroyed.
To top everything, the nobles of the "Company of Saint-Christophe" had forgotten d'Esnambuc and his colony so d'Esnambuc appealed directly to Cardinal Richelieu for help. Du Roissey , meanwhile, remained jailed in France, for his cowardice and treachery in seizing one of d'Esnambuc's ships and abandoning the settlers on Saint-Martin.
Richelieu was sympathetic to d'Esnambuc and had the king dissolve the "Company of Saint-Christophe". Richelieu then organized a new corporation which he called, " La Compagnie des Isles de L'Amerique".
(The Company of the Isles of America), on February 12, 1635.
For this new venture, Richelieu enrolled some powereful nobles. There was Admiral Razzilly; Fouquet; the Vicecount de Vaux, resident of the court of Brittany; the Marquis de Tronsac and other nobles. Richelieu himself, pledged 30,000 French pounds for the new corporation. D'Esnambuc was retained as governor of Saint-Christophe and Charles Lienard deL'Olive was named his lieutenant.
At this time, Cardinal Richelieu was having his own troubles in France. Although he was a very powerful advisor to King Louis XIII, he had enemies at court. In spite of his loyalty, Richelieu was hated by the queen, Anne of Austria. The king's brother, Duke Gaston of Orleans, tried several times to have Richelieu assassinated but was unsuccessful.
In 1635, Pere Raymond Breton arrived on Saint-Christophe and began compiling a dictionary of French-Carib dialects. On 15 September, 1635, d'Esnambuc personally took possession of Martinique and built a fort. On 12 November d'Esnambuc informed Richelieu of the possession.
The Death Of d'Esnambuc

In 1640, Pere Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre arrived on Saint-Christophe and began writing the historical records. Pere Du Tertre wrote four volumes of historical records.
D'Esnambuc wanted to return to France. The colony at Saint-Christophe was flourishing and the future looked good for Martinique, where another Du Parquet, being wise, though young, made peace with the Caribs and Martinique prospered.
On Guadeloupe, De L'Olive, brutal and vindictive, a poor administrator, was in constant conflict with the Caribs.
Several times d'Esnambuc requested permission to return to France but the Lords of the Company felt that his presence was necessary in the islands. D'Esnambuc was tired and sick, weak from the fever, but still he obeyed.
D'Esnambuc died, suddenly, in June 1637, without ever having returned to France.

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