Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PILLAGE, Magloire, West Indian soldier, born in Martinique in 1769; died there in 1840. He was of African descent. In the disturbances in Martinique that followed the French revolution he took the side of the planters, and showed considerable military skill, he served in the colonial militia when the island was attacked by the English, and was wounded during the assault on Vert Pre. Rochambeau made him a lieutenant on the field of battle, and gave him the command of a fort which he defended with ability, but he was obliged to yield to numbers and transported as a prisoner of war to England. On his exchange he went to France, where he was named captain of the battalion of the Antilles, which had been raised at Brest. In 1795 his corps was sent to Guadeloupe to recover this island from the English. In an attack on St. Lucia he won the grade of major, and he was appointed governor of this colony, where he remained until it was retaken by the English in 1796. He was wounded and again sent as a prisoner of war to England, but exchanged in 1798 and returned to Guadeloupe, with the rank of colonel, in 1799. When Admiral Lacrosse arrived in the island in 1801, commissioned to restore order in the colony and reduce the negroes to obedience, he was opposed by Pelage, and an attempt to arrest the latter resulted in an insurrection. A new government was organized and Lacrosse was compelled to fly. Pelage governed the island till 1802, when General Richepanse, having arrived with re-enforcements, defeated the negroes and seized Pelage with the leaders of his army. The negro leaders were taken to Paris, but, owing probably to the fact that their resistance was not without provocation, they were released, after a few months' imprisonment, in 1803. Pelage lived for several years in France in obscurity, but finally returned to the French colonies.
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