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Władysław Franciszek Jabłonowski
Nickname Murzynek
Born 25 October 1769 (1769-10-25)
Died 29 September 1802 (1802-09-30) (aged 32)
Place of birth Gdansk, Poland
Place of death Jérémie, Haiti
Allegiance
  • France
  • Poland
Years of service 1786–1802
Rank Brigadier general
Battles/wars Szczekociny, Warsaw, Maciejowice and Praga

Władysław Franciszek Jabłonowski (25 October 1769–29 September 1802) was a Black Polish and French general.

Early life[]

He was of mixed ancestry - the illegitimate child of Maria Dealire, an English aristocrat, and an unidentified African. He acquired the nickname "Murzynek".[1] Maria Dealire's husband, the Polish nobleman Konstanty Jabłonowski, accepted him as his son.

In 1783 he was admitted to the French military academy at Brienne-le-Château. There he was a schoolmate of Napoleon and Davout. In a climate of bullying, he was subjected to racist taunts, including from Napoleon.[2] On graduation he joined the Régiment de Royal-Allemand where he attained the rank of lieutenant.

Military career[]

In 1794 he fought in Tadeusz Kościuszko's uprising against Tsarist Russia. He participated in battles of Szczekociny, Warsaw, Maciejowice, and at Praga. In 1799 he was made General of Brigade of the Polish legions.[2] From 1801 he was the leader of Legia Naddunajska. He was sent on his own request to Haiti in May 1802 (before the decision to send the rest of the Polish legions). There he worked to put down the Haitian Revolution. Jabłonowski died from yellow fever on September 29, 1802 in Jérémie, Haiti.[2]

In Polish Culture[]

He is mentioned in Adam Mickiewicz's famous epic poem Pan Tadeusz in the context of a veteran of the Polish legions recounting what he had seen:

how Jablonowski had reached the land where the pepper grows
and where sugar is produced, and where in eternal spring
bloom fragrant woods: with the legion of the Danube there
the Polish general smites the negroes, but sighs for his native soil[3]

References[]

  1. PWN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pachonski Jan, Jan; Wilson, Reuel K. (1986). "Poland's Caribbean Tragedy: A Study of Polish Legions in the Haitian War of Independence 1802-1803". East European Monographs. pp. 60–61. 
  3. Mickiewicz, Adam (1917). Pan Tadeusz. London: J. M. Dent. pp. 31. http://ia700401.us.archive.org/7/items/pantadeuszorlast00mick/pantadeuszorlast00mick_bw.pdf. Retrieved 8 October 2013. "Translated by George Rapall Noyes" 

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