The World at War

FRENCH GUIANA 1604 - 1946


1604January 12 Henry IV names Daniel de La Touche de La Ravardière Lieutenant General over the lands from the Amazon to the Trinity. La Ravardière departs Saint Malo to investigate the prospects for colonization in Guiana.
April 9 A French expedition led by Daniel de La Touche de La Ravardière lands at Oyapock Bay. La Ravardière sails on to the future site of Cayenne before returning to France with a favorable report.
1624Louis XIII ordains the installation of the first French colonists who found Cayenne.
1626A small group of traders from Rouen settles on the Sinnamary River.
1630Constant d’Aubigné, son of Agrippa and father of the future Madame de Maintenon, wife of Louis XIV, establishes a new colony on the banks of the Sinnamary.
1635A company of Norman merchants is granted all privileges within the whole of Guiana and establishes a settlement at the site of present day Cayenne.
1638Cardinal Richelieu appoints Captain Bontemps to organize the transportation of 1,200 French colonists to Guiana.
1643La Compagnie du Cap Nord is founded by the people of Rouen. Charles Poncet de Brétigny leads a new group of 400 colonists to Guiana where he builds Fort Saint Michel on Mont Cépérou overlooking the future site of Cayenne and proclaims himself sovereign of Guiana. Poncet finds a few of the original settlers still alive and living among the Indians.
1644Charles Poncet de Brétigny is killed by an Indian.
1645La Compagnie de la France Equinoxiale is established. Its colonization effort in Guiana fails.
1648Indian attacks have reduced the population of La Compagnie du Cap Nord’s colony to 25.
1652The second Compagnie de la France Equinoxiale or Compagnie des Douze Seigneurs is established to promote the colonization of Guiana. A new expedition is sent to Guiana with 650 colonists. Fort Diamant, is built at the mouth of the Mahury to protect the settlers from the Indians who inhabit the surrounding highlands and maritime invasion by the Dutch, English and Portuguese but nearly all are decimated by the Indians or fevers. The survivors flee towards Surinam.
1654The Dutch take control of French Guiana for twelve years. African slaves are first brought to Guiana by a Matoury plantation owner, a Dutchman named Spranger during this period.
1656Dutch Jews build the first sugarmill at Cayenne.
1664The French Compagnie des Indes Occidentales is granted a monopoly over Guiana commerce for forty years but has no more success than its predecessors.
1667July 31 The Netherlands and Great Britain recognize French claims in Guiana under terms of the Treaty of Breda.
1674Guiana comes under direct control of the French crown. Jean Baptiste Colbert undertakes a policy of agricultural development. The Governor’s Jesuit councilors establish magnificent plantations of sugar cane, cotton, cacao, coffee, vanilla and other spices. Papermills, brickworks and mines are developed by African slave labor.
1676December 21 Admiral Jean d'Estrées recaptures French Guiana from the Dutch.
1686An unsuccessful expedition against the Dutch in Surinam sets back the advance of the French colony until the close of the century.
1700The Treaty of Lisbon neutralizes the Terres du Cap du Nord, a region claimed by both France and Portugal.
1713The Treaty of Utrecht indicates that the boundary between French Guiana and Brazil is a river which the French claim to be the Araguary. The Portuguese assert that the Oyapock was intended.
1716The coffee plant is introduced in French Guiana from Martinique.
1727The Viceroy of Brazil Vasco Fernandes César de Meneses sends Francisco de Mello Palheta to French Guiana to obtain coffee seeds. The French refuse to part with the seeds but according to legend, Don Francisco so successfully charms Governor Claude Guillouet d'Orvilliers's wife that she hands him a bouquet of flowers containing the seeds that start Brazil’s coffee industry.
1731The Catholic Apostlic Prefecture of Cayenne is separated from that of Martinique.
1762Louis XV orders the expulsion of the Jesuits to make way for the establishment of a new colony in Guiana by the Duc de Choiseul.
1763Etienne-François, Duc de Choiseul and his cousin Praslin obtain a concession over the country between the Kourou and the Maroni.
1764A recruitment campaign in the eastern provinces of France persuades 15,000 Alsatians and Lorrainers to leave Rochefort for Choiseul ’s colony in Guiana. They land at Kourou during the rainy season and in the swamp. 12,000 die the first year from malaria, dysentery, yellow fever and syphilis. Sixty families take refuge on the islands off Kourou which are name les îles du Salut, the islands of health.1765
No more than 918 Choiseul ’s colonists remain alive and these are a famished fever stricken band. A long investigation in Paris results in the imprisonment of the expedition’s leaders.
1771Swiss engineer Samuel Joseph Guisan is brought to French Guiana by the Intendant Malouet. He spends the next 20 years draining and reclaiming the lowlands. He constructs the Kaw Canal, drains the marsh adjoining Cayenne’s Fort Cépérou and draws up plans for the Cayenne drainage canal finished in 1821.
1772The cinnamon tree is successfully introduced in French Guiana from Ceylon but like that of the pepper-tree and the nutmeg its cultivation is neglected.
1777Nicolas Mazin drains the marshes south of Cayenne where he establishes the La Madeleine plantation.
1782July Samuel Joseph Guisan undertakes the reclamation of the lands along the Approuague and the La Gabrielle Plantation near Roura.
1791May 15 The National Assembly declares that men of color residing in the colonies and born to free parents are equal in rights to whites.
July Samuel Joseph Guisa ends his 20 year career as chief engineer of the colony and returns to Switzerland.
1792The French Revolution makes Cayenne a place of banishment its political opponents. The penal colony is born.
1793Rebellious escaped slaves led by Boni and Aluku are driven from Surinam by Dutch troops and flee into French Guiana where they settle along the lower Maroni and the Awa rivers.
1794February 4 The National Convention issues the first decree abolishing slavery in the French Empire. Governor Nicolas Georges Jeanet-Oudin applies the decree in French Guiana.
December 8 Abbé Grégoire addresses the National Assembly to ask humain treatment of priest held for deportation to Guiana aboard ships at Rochefort. The ships have yet to leave port for fear of capture by the Royal Navy.
1795Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois, publisher of the l'Almanach du Père Gérard, member of the National Convention and opponent of Robespierre is deported to French Guiana where he dies within a year.
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, revolutionary, Deputy of Paris to the National Convention and one of the organizers of the Reign of Terror, is deported to French Guiana.
1796Slavery is officially and progressively reestablished by Governors François Maurice Cointet de Fillain and Nicolas Georges Jeanet-Oudin (who returns to French Guiana for a second term as Governor). A bloody slave rebellion and repression ensues. Two rebel leaders, Siméon and Adome are able to hideout with their groups in the bush, Siméon on the La Comté, and Adome on Upper Tonnégrande.
1797November 12 The corvette La Vaillante arrives at Cayenne carrying a number of prominent Royalist deportees including Generals Jean Charles Pichegru, Victor Amédé Willot, Jean Pierre Ramel, Abbé André Charles Brottier and diplomat François Barbé-Marbois.
November 21 The Royalist deportees, numbering nearly 600, are transferred to the Sinnamary River without shelter or food. Two thirds of them perish miserably.
1798March 12 The frigate La Charente leaves Rochefort for Guiana with 156 deported priests along with deputy Gilbert-Desmolières and singer Ange Pitou.
June 3 The surviving leaders of the Royalist deportees on the Sinnamary with the exception of Barbé-Marbois and Laffon Ladebat escape aboard a pirogue (native canoe). Generals Pichegru, Willot and Ramel reach the Dutch colony of Surinam after a week long journey. Willot dies in Surinam but the others make their way to England.
June 7 The frigate La Décade reaches Cayenne carrying 193 deportees including Job Aimé, Desmolières, a large number of priests and seven common criminals. All, except Job Aimé, Desmolières and ten priests, are sent to the Counamama River where they live like animals, in rags, sleeping on the wet ground and without care. Thirty nine die in the month following their arrival.
September 22 General Jean Charles Pichegru arrives in London after escaping French Guiana. Pichegru shortly returns to France where he arrested and later found strangled in his cell.
October 6 The corvette La Bayonnaise enters the harbor of Cayenne with 111 deportees on board, 9 having died during the voyage. The ship stays anchored in the harbor for a week before a ferry comes to take its human cargo to Counamama.
November 4 The Directory orders Belgian priests accused of fomenting insurrection among the peasantry deported to French Guiana.
1799February 14 Belgian priests accused of fomenting insurrection relax in Cayenne aboard the English brigantine Swallow which they captured after being taken aboard for return to France.
December 17 Governor Étienne Franconie recalls François Barbé-Marbois and Laffont Laudebat to Cayenne. Franconie organizes rioting in favor of Napoleon’s successful coup of 18 Brumaire and rally’s nearly all the colony’s officials to the Bonapartist side. François Barbé-Marbois is authorized to leave Cayenne for the Ile de Oléron off France and eventually becomes Napoleon’s Finance Minister.
1800January 6 Victor Hugues arrives at Cayenne aboard the La Sirène carrying passports for Bathélémy, Barbé Marbois and Laffon Ladebat.
January 8 Victor Hugues takes office as Governor of French Guiana. He manages to put the colony in a better economic state before the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars.
1802Governor Victor Hugues carries out the reintroduction of slavery decreed by Napoléon.
1804Siméon and Adome, the leaders of the slave revolt, are captured and executed. Another rebel leader, Pompée, evades capture and hidesout with his men in the bush south of Cayenne for 22 years.
1809January Portuguese and British forces invade French Guiana.
1815The Congress of Vienna restores Guiana to France but the Portuguese occupation continues for another three years.
1817November 8 Portugal withdraws from French Guiana.
1819August 11 French Guiana's first post office opens in Cayenne. It will be French Guiana's only post office for the next 70 years.
1821December 12 Governor Pierre-Clément Baron de Laussat opens the Cayenne flood canal begun in 1777. The canal separates the city from the poor Chinese village called Chicago.
1822January 26 Governor Pierre-Clément Baron de Laussat adopts Sirdey's plan for the City of Cayenne.
The first steam sugar mills in French Guiana are constructed.
1824An agricultural colony, Nouvelle Angouleme is attempted in the Mana district. After failure at first it becomes relatively successful.
1826Pompée, a leader of the revolt setoff by Napoleon’s reintroduction of slavery, returns to Cayenne after 22 years in hiding. He is captured then granted amnesty.
1836The Maroni River is established as the boundary between French Guiana and Surinam.
1848April 27 The Provisional Government of the French Second Republic issues a decree abolishing slavery in the colonies.
May 10 Governor André Aimé Pariset proclaims the reestablishment of the French Republic to Cayenne.
June 10 Governor André Aimé Pariset promulgates the decree abolishing slavery in French Guiana.
July 15 Governor André Aimé Pariset issues a proclamation abolishing slavery in French Guiana. Sixteen thousand slave desert the colony’s plantations causing the collapse of the agricultural economy.
1850November 22 Prince Louis Napoléon declares, "6000 convicts in our prisons put an enormous strain on the budget, becoming more and more depraved and incessantly threatening society. It seems possible to me to make the penalty of forced labor more effective, more moral, less expensive and more humane by using it to advance the progress of French colonization.”
1852The penal colony is established by a decree. Over the next 15 years 18,000 French convicts are exiled to Guiana.
February 20 The Minister of the Navy and Colonies, Théodore Ducos, reports that the Government has decided to attempt another colonization of Guiana founded on the establishment of penal institutions which would relieve France of, “true social leprosy which maintains the crime school tradition in the lower classes of the population.”
May The frigate Allier arrives with the first deportees, 298 criminals and 3 political prisoners, sent to the penal colony on the Iles du Salut. Governor Sarda Garriga tells them, “I have the mission of making you live a new life, in France, you are criminals, here, I have seen nothing but repentant men.”DecemberAbout 2,000 convicts have arrived in French Guiana. The facilities at Remire become overcrowded and the buildings have to be evacuated. The prisoners are put to work on the coffee plantations.
1853Indian and Chinese labor is recruited to alleviate the shortage caused by the emancipation of the slaves.
300 convicts arrive at the foot of La Montagne d'Argent. 195 find death after their arrival. The deaths are blamed on lack of preparation by Commissioner Sarda Garriga and an epidemic of Yellow Fever which decimates the ranks of the guards as well as the condemned.
1854January 31 Admiral Martin Fourrichon replaces Governor Sarda Garriga and establishes a new penal colony at Saint Georges where the convicts take part in the construction of the town. Fourrichon, unlike his predecessor, imposes the corporal punishments used in the prisons of France. Two thirds of the prisoners die. Those who survive the harsh climate and ill treatment often commit suicide.
March 6 A law is enacted requiring those sentenced to less than 8 years hard labor remain in the colony for an equal time after serving their sentence. Those sentenced to 8 years or more are required to remain in French Guiana for the remainder of their lives. Convicts completing their sentences are freed in French Guiana.
July – November Penal labor camps are established at Sainte Marie, Saint Augustin and Saint Pillippe on the La Comté River.
1855July Joseph Paolino, an Indian from Brazil, makes the first major discovery of gold in French Guiana on the Arataye River. Félix Couy, Commissioner commanding the Approuague district obtains official permission to explore gold bearing lands discovered by Paolino. Couy confirms Paolino’s discovery causing feverish excitement and seriously disturbing the economic condition of the colony.
1856The Saint Georges labor camp is evacuated when the gates of Kourou Penitentiary and its annexes, Guatémala, Léandre, Passoura, Pariacabo and Trois Carbets open.
French Guiana's fifth governor in five years, Admiral Auguste Baudin, calls for the construction of a penitentiary at Saint Laurent.
Yellow fever strikes French Guiana.
1858February 21 Governor Auguste Baudin opens the Saint Laurent labor colony which becomes the reception center for all convicts. The camps in eastern French Guiana are gradually closed. The constant and massive arrival of convicts necessitates the creation of some 17 auxilliary camps around Saint Laurent over the next half century.
1859The first female convicts arrive in French Guiana. Only 517 women are deported to the colony during the penal era.
A labor colony for women is opened at Mana under the auspices of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny.
The labor camps at Sainte Marie, Saint Philippe and Saint Augustin on the River Comtè are closed.
Labor camps are opened at Saint Jean and on the Ile Saint Louis.
October 23 The first marriage between deportees unites Dominique Albert and Marie Louise Le Dohendec.
1860A malaria epidemic strikes French Guiana.
The labor colony at Saint Georges is closed.
1861Organabo and Saint Pierre labor camps open.
1863The labor camp at Sainte Anne opens.
1864Labor camps open at Saint Maurice and Sainte Marguerite.
1866A labor camp opens at Sparouine.
1867Construction of a penitentiary at Cayenne begins.
A decree suspends the transportation of European convicts to French Guiana. New Caledonia replaces Guiana as the principal penal settlement for the French Empire.
1868The labor camp at Saint Jean is closed for health reasons.
The labor camps at Sparouine and Hattes are closed.
1870Jean-Louis Loubère is appointed Governor of French Guiana. Loubère initiates a series of public works carried out by Director of Bridges and Roads Lalouette. The waters of the Rorota are diverted to a reservoir built on Mount Cépérou to provide drinking water to the town of Cayenne. A road is built from Rorota to Cayenne. Other roads are built to link Montjoly to Dégrad des Cannes, Rémire and the coast as well as highways linking Rémire to La Madeleine.
1871The floating prisons of La Chimère and Le Grondeur are abandoned.
1873A creole prospector named Vitallo discovers placer gold at Saint Elie.
1875A yellow fever epidemic forces the evacuation of Ile la Mère.
The Kourou penitentiary is abandoned.
1876The Kourou penitentiary reopens.
1878Victor Schoelcher wins approval of a law prohibiting flogging in the prisons of French Guiana.
1879French Guiana is granted an elective general council of sixteen members.
1880March 16 A decree establishes Saint Laurent as an open penitentiary run by a municipal commission directed by the prison administration and the High Commandant of Maroni. The free citizens loose the right to vote for the town administrators.
July 10 An amnesty is approved for the Communards of 1870-1871 except those awaiting execution or serving at hard labor for murder or arson.
The floating prison La Truite is abandoned.
1883Administration of the penal colony is transferred from the Navy to the Ministry of Colonies.
1884The Ile Royale hospital is built.
1885May 27 The relegation law is enacted. Recidivists are subject to heavier penalties and a harsher regime than other convicts. The prisoners are transferred from French prisons in shackles to a dock on the Ile de Ré where they board a naval prison ship for the voyage to French Guiana.
November 26 A decree establishes a special regimen for female deportees. They are put to work as seamstresses, basket makers and cultivating vegetable.
1886La Montagne d’Argent labor camp reopens.
1887Transportation of European convicts to French Guiana resumes.
The labor camp at Saint Jean reopens.
June 16 The first Relèguès, 324 men and 24 women, arrive in French Guiana.
1889November 4 A decree establishes the Special Maritime Tribunal to try punishible acts committed by the convicts including recaptured escapees. A naval officer presides over the tribunal which also includes an officer of the colonial troops and a prosecutor. Three penalties are possible ordinary imprisonment from 6 months to 6 years, solitary confinement from 5 months to 5 years or death.
1891Czar Alexander III of Russia settles the French Guiana-Surinam boundary dispute in favor of the Netherlands which held that the River Awa should be recognized as the main headwater of the Maroni as opposed to France which claimed the Tapanahoni.
La Société Nantaise de Navigation is contracted to transport convicts to Guiana aboard specially fitted ships.
A directive is issued requiring the penitentiary administration to adopt a policy of self-sufficiency in food.
1894An 8,200 acre experimental garden is laid out at Baduel. 5,400 acres are planted in cereals and rice. The remainder is planted with coffee, cacao, sugarcane and other cultures.
1895March 12 Captain Alfred Dreyfus arrives in French Guiana aboard the Saint Nazaire.
April 13 Captain Alfred Dreyfus is transferred to Devil's Island.
1896Camp Charvein is opened as a labor colony for incorrigibles.
1897France and Brazil sign a treaty of arbitration which leads to the eventual settlement of the Guiana boundary dispute by the Swiss Government.
A typhus epidemic strikes French Guiana.
1899June Captain Alfred Dreyfus leaves French Guiana aboard the cruiser Sfax.
1900December Swiss government arbitrators fix the boundary between French Guiana and Brazil at the River Oyapock and the watershed of the Tumuc Humac Mountains. France gains only 3,000 of the 100,000 square miles of territory it claimed.
1901The population of French Guiana is 32,908 including 4,097 convicts at hard labour and 2,193 parolees. Cayenne has a population of over 12,000.
1902The last case of Yellow Fever in French Guiana is recorded.
1903The Prosecutor General of French Guiana protests the abusive discipline at Camp Charvein.
1905France acquires a 965 square mile territory lying between the upper Maroni and the Itany through an agreement with the Dutch government. The question of the exploitation of gold in the Maroni is settled by attributing alternate reaches of the river to France and the Netherlands. France obtains the principal islands in the lower Maroni.
Gold-mining is the most important industry in the colony. The placer mines on the Awa and at Carsevenne produce 130,550 troy ounces annually.
1906Transportation of female convicts to French Guiana is suspended.
Malgaches labor colony opens to house convicts from Madagascar.
1909Camp Godebertis established as a labor colony for incorrigibles.
La Montagne d’Argent (Silver Mountain) labor camp is abandoned.
1910February 22 The Deputy for French Guiana, Gustave Franconie, dies aboard the steamer Normandie in the harbor of Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
The labor camp at Hattes reopens.
1912Germaine Lubin, daughter of Guianese planter Samuel Lubin, begins a thirty year career as what France Soir calls, “one of the great singers of the French opera”.The hospital at Saint Laurent opens.
1917La Montagne d’Argent labor camp reopens.
1918The influenza pandemic strikes French Guiana.
Kourou penitentiary is closed.
1919The German steamer Douala is given to La Société Nantaise de Navigation in reparation for the sinking of La Loire by a German U-boat, refitted as a 670 convict prison transport ship and recommissioned as La Matinière.
Governor Henri Lejeune appoints Arsène Thémire to head the colony’s postal service. Thémire’s tenure brings vast improvements. Post offices are established in nearly all communities. Wireless stations are in stalled at offices in Saint-Laurent, Sinnamary, Régina, St-Georges and the Iles du Salut. The Post Office takesover the telegraph line built by the prison authorities and uses it to restore communications with Tonate, Kourou, Malmanoury, Sinnamary and Iracoubo. Telegraphy courses are instituted at the College of Cayenne and the Loubère Barracks.
1920Jean Galmont founds French Guiana’s first airline La Société des Transports Aériens Guyanais. STAG’s 3 Bréguet seaplanes connect Cayenne to Saint Laurent via Sinnamary and Mana. Another regular route connects Saint Laurent to Inini via Abounamy and occasional flights are made to Paramaribo, Surinam.
1922La Société des Transports Aériens Guyanais fails after an accident raises doubts about the airworthiness of the Bréguet seaplanes.
1923August 8 Le Petit Journal publishes the first article by Albert Londres exposing the inhumain conditions in the penal colony of French Guiana.
December 17 Jean Galmont is convicted of fraud in connection with the issue of bonds to cover mounting debt brought on by the declining price of rum. He is given a one year suspended prison sentence, fined 10,000 francs and deprived of his civic rights for five years.
1924May 11 Eugène Lautier defeats Jean Galmont in a fraud plagued election for French Guiana's seat in the Chamber of Deputies.
Kourou penitentiary reopens.
1925French Guiana's convicts are issued hammocks.
1928Eugène Lautier retains his post as French Guiana's member of the Chamber of Deputies. Jean Galmont is defeat once again by fraud.
Jean Galmont dies of heart failure according to the coroner. Galmont's supporters riot in Cayenne.
Eugène Gober is forced to resign as Mayor and President of the General Council of Cayenne. Gober flees to Africa and is never seen in French Guiana again.
René Jadfard’s Les Dieux de bronze is published.
1929Pan American World Airways is authorized to serve Cayenne. The company constructs a terminal for its weekly seaplane flight at Pointe de Macouria.
La Montagne d’Argent labor camp is closed.
1930July 6 French Guiana is divided into two territories; Guiana (20,000 square kilometers along the coast) and Inini (70,000 square kilometers in the interior.
René Jadfard’s Le Cantique aux ténèbres is published.
1931Gaston Monnerville wins acquittal for 14 French Guianese charged with the murder of Jean Galmont in a trial before the Nantes Court of Assizes.
The penal colony in New Caledonia is closed and the convicts are transferred to French Guiana. Special labor camps for Indochinese convicts are opened at Saut du Tigre, Crique Anguille and La Forestière.
1932Gaston Monnerville, representing the Radical Socialists, defeats Eugène Lautier in the first round of legislative elections to become Deputy from French Guiana.
1933November Henri “Papillon” Charrière, a thief, is sentenced to life at penal servitude in French Guiana for the murder of a pimp although there is no direct evidence against him other than the dubious testimony of a prosecution 'witness'.Recidivists are no longer shackled in leg-irons during the voyage from France to French Guiana.
1934September Henri “Papillon” Charrière escapes from French Guiana after 42 days and makes his way to Colombia. Samuel Chambaud forms the first group of Eclaireurs de France (Scouts) in French Guiana.
1935Henri “Papillon” Charrière is arrested in Colombia and returned to Cayenne where he spends the next two years in solitary confinement.Father Victor Renault, the Apostolic Prefect of French Guiana, is diagnosed with leprosy. Renault moves to Acarounay where he establishes a hospital to treat leprosy victims and makes periodic visits to Mana and Saint Laurent before the progressive effects of his disease forces him to abandon these ministries.
Gaston Monnerville is elected Mayor of Cayenne.
1937July 22 Gaston Monnerville is appointed Under Secretary of State for Colonies in the government of Camille Chautemps. The Italian paper L’Azione Coloniale responds to the nomination of the Afro-Guianese with the headline, “Behind the Red of the Popular Front Comes the Black”.
1938June 17 A ministerial decree ends the transportation of French convicts to French Guiana.
November 22 The last convoy of convicts leaves France for French Guiana carrying 866 convicts.
Crique Anguille (Eel Creek) prison camp is closed.
1939September 7 Gaston Monnerville enlists in the Navy as legal officer of the cruise Provence which is sunk by the Royal Navy at Mers-el-Kebir on July 3, 1940 .
Saut du Tigre (Tiger’s Leap) prison camp is closed. René Jadfard’s Drôle d'assassin is published.
1940January 29 Governor Robert Paul Chot-Plassot issues a writ of suppression ending the Special Maritime Tribunal’s right to pronounce the sentence of solitary confinement.
July 16 Governor Felix Eboue of Chad notifies General de Gaulle of his adhesion to Free France. Eboue, born in French Guiana of mixed African and European parentage, is disgusted by Marshal Petain’s capitulation to the Nazi philosophy.
July 17 Gaston Monnerville is demobilized a week too late join the opposition to the grant of full powers to Marshal Petain.
October 13 Father Victor Renault, founder of the Acarounay leper colony, dies of the disease. Père Renault is buried in accordance with his wish at the entrance to the cemetery of Acarouany between two convicts and facing Mana and Saint Laurent.
Attorney Vermont Polycarpe is disbarred by the Vichy authorities for refusing to accept the armistice. Polycarpe is threatened with arrest and flees Cayenne for the interior were he organizes the rally of French Guiana to Free France.
1941December 12 President Roosevelt’s envoy Admiral Horne meets with Admiral Georges Robert the Vichy High Comissioner for the Antilles, Guiana and Saint Pierre et Miquelon, to discuss terms for neutralization of French possessions in the western hemisphere.
December 18 The Vichy Government forces Samuel Chambaud to resign as Dean of the College of Cayenne and regional commissioner of the Eclaireurs de France (Scouts) because of his membership in the Free Masons.
Gaston Monnerville contacts Captain Chevance and joins the Combat resistance movement.
René Jadfard’s L'Assassin joue et perd and Le Télégramme de minuit are published
1942December Gaston Monnerville joins the Haute Auvergne resistance maquis led by Commandant Cheval under the pseudonym Saint Just. Saint Just will be an active liaison agent with the resistance networks in the departments of Lozère, Ardèche and Gard.
1943March 16 Vichy Governor René Veber resigns after Free French demonstrations in Cayenne. Mayor Sophia wires General de Gaulle announcing the colony’s rally and to request the appointment of a new governor. On the advice of the American consul he sends a similar telegram to General Giruad with the result that two governors are appointed. The Giraud appointee arrives first as the de Gaulle appointee finds it impossible to obtain transportation to Cayenne. The Committee of National Liberation approves the action two months later.American forces construct Rochambeau Aérodrome at Matoury 17 kilometers from Cayenne.
1944Henri “Papillon” Charrière makes his ninth and final escape from French Guiana. Charrière reaches Venezuela where he later became a citizen.
1945Resistance leader Vermont Polycarpe is elected General Councilor of Cayenne.
Constant Chlore defeats Gaston Monnerville in the election for Mayor of Cayenne.
René Jadfard’s Deux Hommes et l'aventure is published
1946The penal colony in French Guiana is abolished.
March 19 The Territory of Inini is administratively reunited with French Guiana which becomes an overseas department on a par with those of metropolitan France.
August 17 One hundred forty five convicts are returned to Marseilles from French Guiana.
November 10 Author René Jadfard is elected Deputy from French Guiana defeating Gaston Monnerville.
French opera star Germaine Lubin, daughter of Guianese planter Samuel Lubin, is arrested for collaboration with the Germans. Despite an acquittal her career is ended.
René Jadfard’s Nuits de Cachiri is published.

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