Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in U. S. history will begin at Destrehan Plantation Saturday. It will start a year-long observation that will recall the events when more than 200 enslaved African-Americans marched downriver from a plantation in LaPlace for two days to a plantation in Kenner.
The revolt which started Jan. 8, 1811 didn’t last long. By Jan. 13, a tribunal was convened at Destrehan Plantation to ascertain guilt and determine punishment.
But it could have been the beginning of the abolition of slavery at mid-century and a new way of looking at life and the opportunity of freedom. It is certainly one of the most historic events in U.S. history and it all started here.
Many programs are planned during the year centered around interpretations of black history, slave songs and spirituals and recognizing historic sites. St. Charles Parish Economic Development and Tourism and Shell Chemicals & Motiva will hold an opening reception Saturday at 3 p. m. in the Mule Barn at Destrehan Plantation. It will feature art work and book signing by local artist Lorraine Gendron. Parish President V. J. St. Pierre will give opening remarks with a keynote address by Nathan Buman.
The reception is open to the public free of charge. It should be the start of an interesting year in which we tie together some of the threads of our past and how they influenced the progress we have made in our state and nation.