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In 1848, Victor Schoelcher persuaded the French government to end slavery in the French West Indies.On , Mont Pelée erupted and completely destroyed St. Due to the eruption refugees from Martinique arrived in boats to the southern villages of Dominica with some remaining permanently on the island.When the Carib revolted against French rule in 1658, the Governor Charles Houël du Petit Pré retaliated with war against them.Many were killed; those who survived were taken captive and expelled from the island. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace.In Martinique the only survivor in the town of Saint-Pierre, Auguste Cyparis, was saved by the thick walls of his prison cell.During WWII, the Vichy government controlled Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Those that survived the trip were distributed to the island planters as Engagés (Indentured servants) under the system of serf peonage that prevailed in the French Antilles at the time.
Martinique was charted by Columbus in 1493, but Spain had little interest in the territory.
On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique" (Company of the American Islands), and established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre (now St. D'Esnambuc died in 1636, leaving the company and Martinique in the hands of his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who in 1637, became governor of the island.
The Carib people had migrated from the mainland to the islands about 1201 CE, according to carbon dating of artifacts.
They were largely displaced, exterminated and assimilated by the Taino, who were resident on the island in the 1490s.