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FRANCE, Joseph, French soldier, born in Fort de France, Martinique, in 1797; died there in December 1868. In 1815 he entered the colonial gendarmerie of the island, and in 1834 had attained the rank of colonel, He commanded for ten years all the armed police force of the island. In 1844 he published "La verite sur les fairs, ou l'esclavage gnu," which created a sensation, for it described the horrors of slavery in the French colonies. He also published a copy of the reports he had made in his official capacity, in which he vigorously denounced slavery. France was the object of daily ovations by the Negroes, who had begun to show signs of discontent. The governor of the colony, becoming alarmed, arrested the colonel and sent him to France, where he was tried and suspended from his duties. On his return to Martinique he found himself in straitened circumstances, and a subscription was raised among the colored class to aid him. When the revolution of 1848 emancipated the slaves, he was chosen their delegate to the legislative assembly, He returned to Martinique in 1852, and until his death was a member of the general council of the colony. From 1860 till 1862 he was chief clerk of the administration and from 1862 till 1868 private counselor to the governor. France is the author of "Histoire de la Guadeloupe" (4 vols., Paris, 1855), " Les corsaires francais dans les Antilles" (1857); "Histoire de la flibuste" (1860); "Questions coloniales" (1860); and" Statistique physique et politique de la Martinique" (1861).
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