'The Strange story of Furcy Madeleine (1786-1856)'

Itinerant exhibition designed by the Villèle Historical Museum, in partnership with the Departmental Archives of Reunion Island.

The Strange Story of Furcy Madeleine (1786-1856), inaugurated at the Villèle Historical Museum (Réunion island) in December 2019, shows the important stages of Furcy’s troubled life, based on an analysis of a vast number of documents from the archives, as well as scientific research carried out by specialised historians.

In 1817 on Bourbon, the slave Furcy dared ask his master Lory to call into question his status as a slave, claiming to have been born free, since his mother Madeleine, of Indian origin, should have been set free during a visit to France years before. 
With the help of a group of ‘Free coloureds’ and a whole network of persons he managed to create, Furcy started a long struggle to have his freedom recognised. It led him first of all to being imprisoned on Bourbon island, then sent to Mauritius island as a slave, before he was freed and finally travelled to Paris, where, almost three decades later, his claims were eventually accepted by the French courts.

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