Father Labat

  • Père Labat
    Date of birth:
    Date of death:

Jean-Baptiste Labat more commonly called "Father Labat" (1663-1738) was a Dominican missionary, explorer, ethnographer, writer and engineer. He was ordained priest in Paris in 1685. In 1693 he volunteered and left as missionary for the Caribbean. January 29, 1694, he landed in Martinique. He joined his fathers in the parish of Macouba, where he worked for two years to develop the parish and built many buildings. Father Labat wrote many books on the lives of slaves in the West Indies. He was a staunch defender of slavery and itself had slaves.

He founded Habitation Fonds-Saint-Jacques, which produced sugar. He is also the founder of churches of the towns of François and Robert and several convents. Its role is not going to stop at the purely religious framework. In fact, he played a key role in the sugar cane industry in Martinique, whether in the production of rum as sugar.

Thanks to his knowledge of the scientific fields, he modernized the sugar cane industry. In wanting to create a cure against the disease, he developed a brandy (sweet guildive) will become the current rum. In 1706 he returned to Europe and was appointed in Italy. Wishing to return to the Americas, it faces the veto of its hierarchy. In 1716, he therefore moved to Paris at the Convent of Saint-Honoré, where he died in 1738.