the names that enchanted France

Jean “Papa” Galmot was born in Monpazier, France in June 1879 and died in Cayenne, French Guiana, August 1928.

Galmot found here

He managed a gold mine owned by his stepfather in the forest of Guiana, making ​​a fortune while striving to improve the lives of its workers and employees. He relieved their poverty by paying them decently, applying labor legislation and creating local scholarships for the poor.

rocket launch in French Guiana found here

Galmot was a pioneer in many areas; an idealist, poet and writer of value. But he was poisoned and died, aged just 49, while working against injustice and for the rights of the citizens of Guiana. He then became the object of a cult. Spontaneously, hearing of his death, the people rose up and a riot broke out in Cayenne.

people of French Guiana found here

Janet Flanner reported on the trial of these rioters

“Indeed, the prisoners’ very names have enchanted the citizens of France. Buckaroos with gentle voices and criminal records are called Mith, Parnasse, Pilgrim, Avril, Mars and even Time. A woman who is said to have aided them in casting stones is a Mlle. Radical, possessor of four children and three professions, only one of which, prostitution, could be acknowledged. The giant Iquy, a deaf fisherman, was Galmot’s mameluke.

image from Mameluke Training Manual found here

An octogenarian named Moustapha is accused of having beaten men to death with his umbrella on the big day. When at home he lives in an inn called The Thirty Knife Cuts. None of the prisoners speaks French grammatically, all refuse to have interpreters, all mix their genders, lie magnificently, are affectionate, polite, and as a means of showing their admiration, call the lawyers and the judge “Papa”.

brass knuckle umbrella found here

Dying, some of them, from tuberculosis contracted in the cold prison where they have waited two years for trial, the accused, attired in evening clothes, green mittens and varnished boots, probably await either the guillotine or Devil’s Island. The giant Iquy wears a sweater embroidered with his motto: “Life is Lovely.”

man in embroidered clothing found here

If the evidence is long, the prisoners remove their boots. Those beheaded would remain in France. Those sentenced to hard labour for life would merely, ironically enough, go back home to Guiana. One can only regret that Conrad died too early to have written of their hearts of darkness.”

image found here

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm  Comments (51)  
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