This luxurious private mansion housed rather inglorious debates during the Revolution. It was here, in the home of Louis-Claude-René de Mordant, nicknamed the “Marquis de Massiac,” where the “White Colonists Club,” and then the “Massiac Club” held its meetings during the French Revolution. Its goal: use any means necessary in order to maintain the slave trade and slavery. And as for means, its members had many: as slave owners themselves, personally linked to colonists or traders in French slave-trading ports, they not only had great wealth, but also solid support in the Assembly!
Antoine Barnave is often seen as one of the precursors of the Revolution: indeed, this lawyer from Grenoble played a decisive role in the Dauphiné Revolution, one of the first regions in the kingdom to rise up as of 1788. However, afterwards he was also one of the biggest defenders of the slave trade and slavery in the Assembly. Opposed to giving voting rights to mixed-race people and free people of color, he proclaimed: “the negro cannot think that he is equal to a white man.” Guillotined in November 1793 for his fondness for the monarchy, in his own lifetime, he would not see the failure of the Massiac Club and the official abolition of slavery, passed on February 4, 1794.