his heroes and their religions

The discovery of America 

"They brought us parrots, cotton bales, javelins and much more, which they exchanged for glass beads and bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They were well built, with harmonious bodies and graceful faces […] They do not carry weapons […] Their javelins are made of reeds. They would make good servants. With fifty men, we could enslave them all and make them do whatever we want. "


Christopher Colombus

Marco Polo (1254-1324) son of a rich Venetian merchant, is placed in the service of Kubilaï Khan, the Mongol emperor who dominates China.


 The story of this long stay transcribed in the Book of Wonders had inflamed the spirits.


He described the East full of gold, precious stones and spices so prized by Europeans since the Crusades.

In a few decades, very ancient civilizations were wiped out, the territory looted of its natural resources and the population enslaved. 

Among these new lands discovered, we owe it to ourselves to speak of Hispaniola.

 Indeed, during his first trip, Christopher Columbus found that this region resembled Spain and baptized it "Española" which became Hispaniola.

During its colonial history, Hispaniola was Spanish and French.

It was baptized Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo), in 1496 by the brother of Columbus, Bartolomé Colomb.

This colonization was fatal for the native Amerindian populations, the Tainos.

They were from the Arawak people, an ethnic group from the Caribbean, settled in Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica.

The Spaniards subjected them to forced labor in order to extract gold from the mines.

In less than twenty-five years, this people was completely decimated by wars, diseases and collective suicides.


The Spaniards then brought in Africans to replace them.


Throughout the 16th century, Santo Domingo became the strategic center of the Spanish colonies in the New World. As soon as the island began not to bring in enough gold, it aroused less interest in the Spaniards.

From 1638 buccaneers and buccaneers established in the island of the Tortoise, encouraged and supported by France, devastated the Spanish establishments and established themselves in the capital.

The Spaniards ceded a third of the island to France.


The French part of Santo Domingo became prosperous thanks to the sugar cane cultivated by African slaves. There were more than 700,000 slaves on the eve of the French Revolution. This pearl of the West Indies made the poet Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) write

"This island which is worth an entire Empire".


Its colonial history was marred by tragic episodes.

Independence is proclaimed on January 1, 1804, by another freed slave, his lieutenant Jean-Jacques Dessalines, (1758-1806) appointed governor for life; he died assassinated two years later, not without changing the name of the island.

 Now it would be Haiti, the second independent country on the American continent, 

"But with this difference that in the United States slavery persisted while here former slaves gave the island its Indian name again, paying homage to those they had been forced to take their place" wrote journalist Edwy Plenel in his work, Voyage avec Colomb. 

The first Black Republic in history was going to have to pay dearly for its liberation. 

France knocked it down with a colossal debt from which it will never recover.


The most practiced religion on the island has always been Catholicism since it was discovered, colonized by European Catholic powers, Spain and France. And this religion was the state religion until 1987.

 The Voodoo can not be ignored. There is an osmosis between Catholicism and ancestral traditions, both Amerindian and African, uniting in a single rite all the humanity present on this island. It has been considered an official religion since 2003.

 The Protestantism was introduced into Haiti from 1816 by American and Canadian missionaries who adopted the Creole language to evangelize. Their action has been major in the field of education.

 Let's continue to go back in time!

 From 1494, and in order to appease the rivalry between Spain and Portugal, under the authority of Pope Alexander VI, the Treaty of Tordesillas shared the new lands discovered. A division of the world into two camps. Discussions were bitter and the Portuguese moved the line to the east.

 This treaty will ensure the Portuguese the monopoly of the conquests to come to the east of a line passing 370 leagues west of the Azores (that is to say the eastern tip of the South American continent).

This guarantees them in advance the control of a huge territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.

 Pedro Alvares Cabral, on behalf of Portugal, officially discovered Brazil in 1500.

 Many historians consider that Brazil was unofficially discovered by Portugal before this Treaty ...

The big losers in this story are England, the future Netherlands, France, but above all, and above all, the many peoples who were colonized, evangelized by force, reduced to slaves. It is estimated that before 1500, the eastern coast of South America was inhabited by approximately 2 million Native Americans.

In 1497, Vasco de Gama crossed the Cape of Good Hope and then landed in India in 1498, on behalf of Portugal.

On the strength of their discoveries, the two Iberian Kingdoms began to colonize their new territories.

Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), Florentine navigator and merchant, will be at the service of Portugal and Spain.


He realizes that these lands are not India but a new continent.

In 1453, Constantinople fell into the hands of the Ottomans.

 This event will result in cutting off the roads to the East.

 From now on, trade by land with the Levant is made impossible.

 It's the Silk Road that's lost to the West

In 1492, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), a Genoese navigator in the service of Spain, arrived in the West Indies, convinced that he had discovered the new route to the Indies.

In fact, he discovered the Americas.


From that moment on, Central and South America were invaded by the Spaniards.

Toussaint Louverture (1743-1804) paved the way for independence.



This former black slave, freed by the French revolution and raised to the highest ranks of military power, was arrested by the imperial troops when slavery was reestablished in 1802. Taken to France in the Doubs, he died without having been able to know the proclamation of independence of his island

Knowledge of the geography of the earth will greatly advance thanks to the Portuguese


The idea of ​​the roundness of the earth advocated by the ancient Greek Ptolemy surfaced thanks to a found document.


Nothing therefore prevented to go around our planet.

Fernand de Magellan, (1480-1521), Portuguese navigator and explorer, began to tour the earth in 1519.


During this trip, he was killed in the Philippines in 1521.


His second, Sebastián Elcano finished in September 1522 the expedition after 3 years of navigation.

He calls it "the New World" and cartographer Martin Waldseemüller will mention "America" ​​on his maps in 1507.


This name “America” will be definitively chosen in 1532 for all of these new lands in the West.

The West Indies were truly the link between South America and North America. 


Jamaica was annexed by Spain after Christopher Columbus, accompanied by Juan de Esquivel, landed there in 1494. He made it his private domain. 


The Spaniards settled mainly in the rich and fertile plains of the south. 


The Tainos were the first slave labor force for the Spaniards. 


Almost all of these were quickly exterminated or died from European diseases. There were no more indigenous people at the end of the 16th century. 


The English captured the island on May 27, 1655, which officially became a British colony in 1670. Admiral Sir William Penn (1621-1670), - whose son, a Quaker opposed to slavery, would create the Pennsylvania - made the island a hub in the fight against Spain and piracy. The use of slaves by Great Britain, from 1672, some twenty years after the capture of the island from the Spaniards, resulted in Jamaica becoming a center of the African slave trade. 


Jamaica later became the second largest sugar exporter in the world, but far behind the French colony of Santo Domingo. 



In this island, in addition to Protestantism, imposed by the English, a cultural and religious osmosis took place in the island between Christianity and the ancestral beliefs of Indians and Africans. 

Obeah is perhaps the oldest of all Afro-Creole religions in the Caribbean. Obeah's story is similar to that of Voodoo. These comforting practices were based on beliefs that recognize the existence and power of the supernatural world.



Add to this spells, both good and bad, and healing practices based on the use of elements taken from the natural environment.

The practice of Obeah is now prohibited in at least fourteen English-speaking Caribbean countries or territories (unlike Voodoo).


Myalism was the religion practiced by "maroon" slaves, fugitives who took refuge in the jungle or in the mountains.

In English, it is called "convince cult" and "bongo" in African.

This practice highlights skills in herbalism, knowledge of plants and remedies.

The "Myal Men" often used vocals and percussion to summon spirits.

They said: "Plants to heal the body and music to heal the spirits".


African slaves therefore introduced spiritual practices to the Caribbean that included healing the people and a belief in magic for good and for evil.


Jamaica was the link between Spanish and Portuguese South America and North America whose destiny was to be English.

The Spaniards will continue their conquest by making some intrusions towards the North but without tomorrow, convinced that the only wealth is in the South.


The supremacy of Spain was weakened by all these riches which were gathered.

The arrival of gold had the consequence of pushing up the price of foodstuffs and on the other hand, labor was no longer of useful value!

 So began the decline of Spain as its empire grew enormous.

 An empire where the sun never set, said Charles V.


From 1588, the victory of England of Elizabeth I over the Invincible Armada of Philip II was the end point of the hegemony of Catholic Spain over the New World.


Latin America was born and would remain Catholic.

 The glory of England was about to ring…. And Clan Fraser continued on its way ...


A story to follow….

And now what is Diana Gabaldon telling us? 

It is volume 3 that takes us to these distant lands ... 

We will meet colorful local characters there, white or black slaves, Catholics, Anglicans, Freemasons, refugees ...

A mosaic of peoples, beliefs ...


On the island of Hispaniola 

 Meeting with naturalist Professor Lawrence Stern who is a German Jew from Munich. Meeting with a defrocked parish priest: Father Fodgen, English Catholic priest of the order of St. Anselm, sent as a missionary to Cuba, to bring back the pagan Africans under "the  

saving cup of Our Lord Jesus ”.


On the island of Barbados 

 Quick stopover in Barbados: La Bruja, the boat on which little Ian is being held, stopped there to disembark slaves.

 Slave market from black Africa. Jamie's purchase of the Reckless Slave. White slave market, less numerous and separated from the others.

Jamie went to the Masonic Lodge as soon as he arrived in Bridgetown, invited by the Grandmaster on the recommendation of his uncle Jared, he hopes to learn more about the white slave trade.

Jamie searches for little Ian in the crematorium for slaves who died during their crossing


In Jamaica: 

 Kingston, a hub for the slave trade.

 Slaves follow the religion of their masters, they were forcibly converted to Christianity on ships and in plantations by missionary priests or preachers and pastors.

 Plantation Stay, Blue Moutain House at Jared's in Sugar Bay: Mr. and Mrs. Maclver comment on papists and say they belong to the Maverick Church.

 The Reverend Archibald Campbell, criticizes the papists of Stuart: debauchery of luxury, women with alluring assets who have their hair undone like Salomé. He is considered a bigot (Puritan) by the owners of the plantations.


Reception at the governor's house: Jamie meets Freemasons, a group of men meet to chat away on the veranda.

Mr Willghouby, the "Chinese Scholar" who fled his country because he refused to become a eunuch (another form of slavery) introduced Claire to care by acupuncture and by pressure points on the body during the crossing. Wrongly accused of the savage murder of Mrs. Ascot, he leaves alone in the jungle: "he leaves forever and wants to become Yi Tien Cho himself again and be free". He becomes in a way a "Brown".

 Ishmaël, cook slave of Mrs. Abernathy (Geillis), indicates where little Ian is and runs away. He becomes leader of the Maroons (runaway slaves). He is a “hougan” or oniseegun priest-doctor.

 At the Abandawe cave, the Voodoo integrate certain rites from Africa with the slaves, and certain prayers from Christian religions: Tam-tam, Fire, Sacrifice of the rooster, Oracles, Dance, Songs, Drugs and Rum to enter into ecstatic trance.

 In conclusion, we can say that this colorful universe of the Caribbean Islands is particularly well described in this book. An invitation to go back in time is offered to us. The literature is rich on the subject… slavery, deportation, rich plantations…

Misery and greatness of the human race which seeks answers in a divine belief.



And to go further ...



Alibert Pierre, Thélier Gérard, The Big Book of Slavery, Orphie, sl, 1998.

 Arondel M., Bouillon J., Rudel J., XVIth XVIIth XVIIIth centuries, Louis Girard History Collection, Paris, Bordas, 1964.

 Braudel Fernand, Le Temps du Monde, Armand Colin, Baumes-les-Bains, 1988.

Croisette Dénis, Charles Quint, emperor of an end of rimes, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2016. Heer Jacques, Christophe Colomb, Paris, Hachette, 1991.

Josserand, Vallée, Person, Ménard, Unique volume of history, Paris, Fernand Nathan, 1965. Labourdette Jean-François, History of Portugal, Paris, Éditions Fayard, 2000.

 Mahn-Lot Marianne, “Christophe Colomb”, in Encyclopædia Universalis, 2012.

 Morison Samuel Eliot, Christophe Colomb, Admiral de la Mer Océane, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Saint-Clair, 1974.

Oruno D. Lara, “Arawaks and Karibs”, in Encyclopædia Universalis, 2012.

 Oruno D. Lara and Jean-Marie Théodat, “Jamaïque”, in Encyclopædia Universalis, 2012. Plenel Eddy, Voyage avec Colomb, Paris, Le Monde-Éditions, 1991

 Pérez Joseph., History of Spain, A. Fayard, 1996.

 Ramseier Mikhaïl W., The Black Sail: Adventurers of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, Favre, Lausanne, 2006.


Here are some novels… true stories… fictions… comics. Rum, buccaneers, plots… songs, dances and loves… slaves and a thirst for freedom.

History of adventurers, buccaneers and 

buccaneers of America

Alexandre-Olivier Oexmelin


So this is undoubtedly the ancestor-book of all adventure novels, then films that will feature these adventurers, these buccaneers and buccaneers. 

Alexandre-Olivier Oexmelin was born around 1645 in Flanders. Fleeing poverty or persecution against Protestants, he enlisted in the Dutch navy and, during a trip to the West Indies, he was taken prisoner and sold to an inhabitant of Turtle Island who kept him for three years. during. 

At the end of this time, he accompanies the buccaneers in their races at sea, undoubtedly as a surgeon ... From the accounts of these races, he writes this History of the adventurers, buccaneers and buccaneers of America. The first edition published in French dates from 1688. And constantly since then, the account of the adventures of these extraordinary men will be reissued.

Treasure Island - RL Stevenson


Rarely an adventure novel in which the real mingles with the fantastic has been conducted with so much skill and science; it is now a classic book.


The young Jim Hawkins is the hero of this novel, as well as the terrible John Silver, the man with the wooden leg. Hispanolia unloads the "good guys" and the "bad guys" on Treasure Island. From then on, an implacable fight takes place to find the treasure amassed by Flint, a formidable pirate who died without having revealed his secret.

Texte :  Françoise Rochet 

Illustration : Gratianne Garcia 

Relecture et conseils avisés : Claudine Leroy 

We will continue our discovery of Outlander through the different religions, beliefs and philosophical convictions of the characters in this saga.

The material is dense, intense, just like the books by Diana Gabaldon.

Therefore, we are going to divide this discovery of America into several files.


Here is the first one that takes us to the West Indies, Jamie Fraser's first stop in America. Barbados, Hispaniola, Jamaica, so many places that today seem exotic to us and yet are synonymous with suffering.


We will not linger in Barbados, transit island for Claire and Jamie, it was for other migrants. From 1660, it was the starting point of a swarming in all the New World: Jamaica, Caroline, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.


But before we start our journey to the New World, let's open our history book and see how the 15th century was the century of the great maritime discoveries by the Iberian Kingdoms.

It was therefore necessary to find other ways of trade: the compass, the rudder and the construction of large ships, caravels will facilitate the task for the great maritime powers, Spain and Portugal.

 Thus, these two Kingdoms will begin a frantic race on the seas.


The Portuguese will move mainly east through Africa and will create large colonies in Africa and Asia.

Today, the Portuguese language is spoken in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

 These 6 countries are all former Portuguese colonies.

 The Spaniards try their luck towards the West.

The Knight of Jamaica

 Marie-Hélène Therrien and Steve Garvie


Second volume of the The Adventure Galley series, The Knight of Jamaica is a novel inspired by real life events that evokes the life of Captains Kidd and Morgan in the 18th century.

 This four-volume saga, inspired by real life stories, evokes four crucial periods in the lives of Captains Kidd and Morgan, taking readers on a fast-paced adventure filled with passion, violence, charm, friendship, desire, action, danger, betrayal and love.


The authors, passionate about 17th century history, set out to write an exhilarating series, imbued with sensuality. They trace a very turbulent period when the powers of Europe fought over the territories of the Americas.

The Book of Jamaica


Russell banks



Having gone to Jamaica to study the living conditions of the Maroons, these descendants of escaped slaves living in the mountains in the heart of the island, an American writer is struck upon his arrival by the differences he is confronted with.


Beyond the obvious divide between rich whites and poor blacks, it is the entire Jamaican world that seems the opposite of the logically Western one it knows.

Coumba little slave in the 18th century Pascal Hédelin and Charline Picard




Coumba, a 9-year-old girl, is captured in the African bush.

With other prisoners to whom she is chained, she is embarked on a ship. Destination: the island of Barbados in the Caribbean. There, Coumba will be sold as a little slave to a couple who own a large sugar cane plantation. Uprooted, mistreated, exhausted, Coumba has only one dream: to run away and find freedom.

Me, Tituba witch ...


Maryse Condé


The historical character of Tituba is a Native American West Indian Arawak, captured when she was only a child and sold as a slave in Barbados, to the Reverend Samuel Parris who will be at the origin of the witch trials of Salem (New England). ). He indeed quickly left Barbados to settle with his family and his two slaves in Boston, then in Salem where he worked as a Puritan pastor. Tituba is then accused by the pastor's daughter and niece of having bewitched them and becomes one of the first accused at the trial.



Bernard Vincent


In 1839, black slaves were taken aboard a Spanish ship, the Amistad. But during the crossing, a revolt breaks out and the prisoners take control of the boat. Trying to return to Africa, Amistad was boarded and driven to the United States. The unfortunate slaves are imprisoned and liable to the death penalty. Their trial will set America in turmoil ...


Steven Spielberg brought this page of history to the screen in 1996.



Drawings by Antoine Brivet, screenplay by Sébastien Viozat


Comic strip in 2 volumes.


1664, Caribbean Sea: Éric Gorsen, known as “the Nantais”, trader in precious stones, settles on the island of the Tortoise. Two years ago, since the death of the famous local pirate "Ankou", the place enjoys relative calm.


But "Le Nantais" hides a terrible secret which strangely links him to Mam'pala, voodoo witch of the island whose power is said to extend beyond the realm of the dead ... Based on historical facts, Tortuga is a incredible tale of pirates imbued with fantastic.

Passengers of the wind


Francois Bourgeon


Scenario, designs and colors


Historical comic strip, in 8 volumes.


Historical fresco, which is framed by the sea in the 18th century, recounts the incredible and tragic adventures of Isa.

The young heroine, a noble whose identity has been stolen, meets on a Royal Navy ship Hoel, a barber whose life she saves.


Hoel finds himself trapped in a sinister English pontoon. Helped by his English friend Mary, Isa manages to free him. Isa, Hoel and Mary board a slave ship the Marie-Caroline.


Faced with power intrigues and African spells, Isa must struggle to cure Hoel of poisoning.


The Marie-Caroline leaves for Saint Domingue with the "ebony wood" on board, that is to say the slaves.


The latter mutinied but their revolt was suppressed in a bloodbath. The arrival in Santo Domingo will be decisive for Hoel and Isa… ..

And to end this trip, although it takes us away from our favorite saga, we offer you a ride in the steppes in the footsteps of Marco Polo who made us want to travel….


 The ride of the steppes


Sylvain Tesson and Priscilla Telmon


"They rode on horseback 3,000 kilometers through Central Asia, a journey that took them from China to the Middle East, crossing Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, to finally reach the sea. from Aral. In their saddlebags, for any money, they carry only the accounts of the explorers who have succeeded in the region since the 14th century, from Marco Polo to Ella Maillart, and through the centuries associate their own gaze with that of these illustrious writers. travelers. A six-month journey that is worth as a sporting feat, but which is even more interesting for the description it offers of a world apart, magical and self-sufficient, a secret and enchanting world: the world of the steppes.