1723 Letters patent
Exhibition at Villèle museum
19th December 2023 – 31st March 2024

To mark the Gran 20 désanm 2023 (20th December celebrations for 2023), the Villèle historical museum and the Reunion departmental archives are presenting the 1723 letters patent, more commonly referred to as the Black Code for the islands of Ile de France and Bourbon.

This legal code, consisting of 54 articles inspired by the one drawn up for the Caribbean islands in 1685, became applicable on Bourbon island as from 1723. During the period of slavery, the document determined the relations between masters and slaves as regards rights and obligations of each of the groups, including repressive measures. The main provisions concerned the recording of births, marriages and deaths, the exercise of religion, work and the civil incapacity of slaves.

The exhibition, presented in the gardens of the Villèle museum, can also be visited on line.

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