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Jean Saint Malo in French (? - June 19, 1784), also known as Juan San Malo in Spanish, was the leader of a group of runaway slaves in colonial Louisiana, then under rule by Spain.

Saint Malo and his band encampted to a marshy area of Lake Borgne, with weapons obtained from freed persons of color and plantation slaves. The runaways lived in the swamps east of New Orleans and made their headquarters at Galliard from 1780-1784.

The Spanish had mostly suppressed the slave revolts by 1783, and more than a hundred of the runaways were captured.

Saint Malo was condemned to death by hanging, on charges of murder. The execution was carried out by the alcalde Mario de Reggio on June 19, 1784, in front of St. Louis Cathedral (the present Jackson Square, New Orleans).

The town of Saint Malo, Louisiana, was named after him.

Coincidentally, June 19, the day of San Malo's execution, is also recognized by many African Americans as Juneteenth, the day that slavery officially ended in several southern states, although there is no connection.

References

  • Black New Orleans, Keith Weldon Medley, American Legacy Magazine (2000) (transcription)
  • Filipino-American history
  • "Juan San Malo", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. II (1988), p. 714
  • Caroline Burson, The Stewardship of Don Esteban Miro, 1782-1792 (1940)
  • Gilbert C. Din, "Cimarrones and the San Malo Band in Spanish Louisiana", Louisiana History, XXI (1980)



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