St. Martiners protest auction of large historical estate advertised in New York

ST. MARTIN -- Close to 500 people joined in a peaceful march on Saturday April 20th 2024, braved the scorching Caribbean sun as they walked over two hills from Hope Estate to protest the intended sale of the Beauperthuy estate in northern St. Martin.

The march was sparked when news broke a few weeks ago that the 100 hectares property on which several historic buildings are located, was advertised by in the New York Times to be auctioned off.

According to historical narrative on local news website Soualiga Newsday, this case goes back over 150 years. The sprawling land was owned by one Pierre Daniel Beauperthuy; born December 6, 1783 in Guadeloupe and died 1861 in St. Martin (No tombstone  found). His wife was Marie Sauveur Desbonnes.



After the death of Pierre Daniel his eldest son Pierre Auguste (1806 -1878) managed the estate. At the death of Pierre Auguste in 1878, his son Charles Daniel Esprit (1861 -1935), his son managed the estate and the property remained in family hands since. The Beauperthuy family were given notarial deed dating back from the 1930's. 

Then in 1973 individuals living in France, Canada and Guadeloupe, started court action against the occupying St. Martin family, claiming lineage to Pierre Daniel Beauperthuy. The case dragged on for 43 years, and French court eventually appointed three administrators and gave them rights to auction all properties. This auction of the prime seaside real estate is now set for May 2024, which caused the community to spring into action.



St. Martin Collectivité President Louis Mussington, who led the protest march on Saturday explained that he has been in contact with the administrators of the property. He said that his Government’s intention is to acquire all plots, to safeguard the heritage and possibly sell plots to local families looking to buy land.

Several leading politicians from both sides of the island joined in the protest march from Hope Estate, several kilometers via the French Quarter road to the Old House on the Beauperthuy estate, currently home of the Amuseum Naturalis, where the gathering grew to more than 1,000 people. “This is not only a French side matter. It is a St. Martin matter that concerns both sides of the island,” said leader of Dutch side parliament Sarah Wescott.



Some were on horseback

old house
The Old House

If the Beauperthuy’s really love St. Martin, let them then donate the property to the people of St. Martin. Too much of our land is already no longer in our own possession,” one fiery speaker said from the podium once everybody gathered at Beauperthuy estate. “This is about landownership above anything else. We have to preserve this property for our children instead of allowing it to be sold off the speculators who will sell it to outsiders that will build resorts that locals will not be allowed to enter. These types of things are what cause people to leave their homes; we should create the circumstances for our people to come back, instead of circumstances that will leave them hopeless and prompt them to leave.”

President Louis Mussington vowed that he would not let that happen.

As long as I am President, this real estate speculation will not take place.”