Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc
Pierre Belain, Sieur d'Esnambuc
Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc founding the colony of Martinique (by Théodore Gudin)
|Governor general of the French Antilles|
1628 – December 1636
|Succeeded by||Pierre du Halde|
|Born||9 March 1585|
Allouville, Seine-Maritime, France
Saint Christopher Island
|Occupation||Trader and adventurer|
In 1626 he returned to France, where he won the support of Cardinal Richelieu to establish French colonies in the region. Richelieu became a shareholder in the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe, created to accomplish this with D'Esnambuc at its head. The company was not particularly successful and Richelieu had it reorganized as the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique. In 1635 D'Esnambuc sailed to Martinique with one hundred French settlers to clear land for sugarcane plantations. This led to tensions with the indigenous Carib population. He established Jean Dupont as local governor before returning to Saint Christophe. Open warfare led to the French expelling surviving Carib from the island in 1660.
After six months on Martinique, D'Esnambuc returned to Saint Christopher, where he soon died. His nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, inherited D'Esnambuc's authority over the French settlements in the Caribbean. He remained in Martinique and did not concern himself with the other islands.