Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NIEL, Fr6d6ric Guillaume Amgd6e Ferdi. nand (ned), West Indian geographer, born near Saint Pierre, Martinique, in 1729 ; died in Versailles in 1791. He entered the colonial administration and held several offices. In 1761 he undertook a survey of Martinique, and he was afterward sent on several missions to Santo Domingo, Guadeloupe, and South America. He was appointed in 1782 assistant librarian of the city of versailles, but resigned in 1790, and, returning to Martinique, was chosen delegate to the constituent assembly. He was one of the founders in-Paris of the club " Les amis des noirs," and, although opposed to a general emancipation of the slaves, advocated a policy of gradual enfranchisement, and published several pamphlets in support of his ideas. Among his works are " Description de la cote orientale de File de la Martinique " (Paris, 1763); "Atlas pour servir aux marius qui prennent le debouquement de Saint Domingue" (1770); "Le flux et le reflux de lamer sur les cotes de File Salute Catherine " (1772) ; "Atlas de la cSte du Maranhgo " (1775); "De l'eselavage aux Antilles" (1790); "La question des esclaves" (1791); "Des droits du negres" (1791); and "L'esclave peut-il devenir un bon citoyen?" (1791).
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