Jean-Baptiste Belley, député de Saint Dominique à la Convention (1797), Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy Trioson. Oil on canvas. Collection: Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles
Jean Baptiste Belley was one of the three representatives of the French colonies elected in San Domingue in 1793. Taken from his native Senegalese island to the Caribbean and enslaved, he had fought with Toussaint L’Ouverture and then joined the French revolutionary army. He spoke in the debate in the Convention in 1794, when a unanimous decision was taken to abolish slavery, and returned to San Domingue after losing his seat in 1797. He is lost from the historical records in the subsequent struggles of Haitians against the Napoleonic army, which was attempting to reinstate slavery.
Catherine Hall, “Review of The Birth of the Modern World 1780–1914. Global Connections and Comparisons,” Reviews in Modern History (October, 2004)