Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére

Marie-Jeanne Lamartinière (fl. 1802), known in history only as Marie-Jeanne,[1] was a Haitian soldier, and reportedly a "dazzling beauty."[2] She served in the Haitian army during the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804).

A woman in white and a man in uniform with troops behind them.
1954 Stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of Haitian independence featuring Marie-Jeanne and her husband.

Haitian Revolution ServiceEdit

Marie-Jeanne served at the Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot (4 March to 24 March 1802) with her husband Louis Daure Lamartinière.[3][4][circular reference] She fought in a male uniform standing along the fort's ramparts bearing both a rifle and a sword.[5] She made a great impression with her fearlessness and courage, and was said to use the long rifle to snipe on the wounded French soldiers below with "a skill all the men applauded."[3] It is said to have boosted the morale of her colleagues with her bravery.[2]

When not fighting, Marie-Jeanne nursed her injured comrades. When describing her allocation of her scarce water supply to parched and dying troops, Bell[3] states,

"Marie-Jeanne gave water with a silver serving spoon that hung from her sash on a fine chain. From the gourd she carried as she filled the spoon just short of the brim and slipped between the jaws of [the patient]." ... [A doctor noticed] "the short knife which rode in her sash between the spoon chain and her sword. Two days before she'd slit the throat of a man so maddened by thirst he'd tried to snatch the water gourd from her — done it as neatly as any peasant woman letting blood from a hog or snapping the head off a chicken. It had been a mercy killing, for the others of the garrison would surly have torn the offender limb from limb."

Later lifeEdit

Her husband Louis Daure Lamartinière was killed in battle in 1802.

Her life after the independence is unknown. An old story says that she, for a time, was involved in a relationship with emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who admired her courage, and that she later married the officer Jean-Louis Larose.[1] This is unconfirmed but comes from a contemporary source, related by one of the other soldiers at Crête-à-Pierrot, and is considered trustworthy.

Similar Soldiers of NoteEdit

Most women participating as soldiers during the revolution remain anonymous, and only a few, of which Marie-Jeanne is one, have been known in history. Other contemporary examples of women in the Haitian army were Victoria Montou and Sanité Belair.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Marie-Jeanne Lamartinière", Wikipédia (in French), 2017-10-29, retrieved 2019-04-17
  2. ^ a b Madiou, Thomas (1803). Histoire d'Haïti: 1799-1803 (in French). Editions H. Deschamps.
  3. ^ a b c Bell, Madison Smartt (2007-12-18). The Stone that the Builder Refused: A Novel of Haiti. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307427977.
  4. ^ "Louis Daure Lamartinière". Wikipédia (in French). Retrieved 2019-04-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Femmes d'Haiti : Marie-Jeanne". www.haiticulture.ch. Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2019-04-17.