African Americans and the Haitian Revolution: Selected Essays and Historical Documents 0415803756, 9780415803755

The importance of the Haitian Revolution as a defining event for African Americans has long been recognized by scholars.

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Table of contents :
Cover
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Introduction

PART I Essays
1 Fever and Fret: The Haitian Revolution and African American Responses
2 Afro-American Sailors and The International Communication Network: The Case of Newport Bowers
3 The Roots of Early Black Nationalism: Northern African Americans’ Invocations of Haiti in the Early Nineteenth Century
4 “The Black Republic”: The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816–1862
5 “A Revolution Unexampled in the History of Man": The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, 1827–1829
6 Antebellum African Americans, Public Commemoration, and the Haitian Revolution: A Problem of Historical Mythmaking
7 American Toussaints: Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War
8 “The Spirit of Human Brotherhood,” “The Sisterhood of Nations,” and “Perfect Manhood”: Frederick Douglass and the Rhetorical Significance of the Haitian Revolution
9 No Man Could Hinder Him: Remembering Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution in the History and Culture of the African American People

PART II Historical Documents
“The Condition and Prospects of Hayti” (1826)
The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, the First African American Newspaper: 1827–1828
From A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; With a Sketch of the Character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (For the Benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841
From St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots. A Lecture, Delivered Before the Metropolitan Athenaeum, London, May 16, and at St. Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia, December 20, 1854
From A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Government, and Civilized Progress, as Demonstrated by Historical Events of the Haytian Revolution; and the Subsequent Acts of that People Since Their National Independence (1857)
The Haitian Revolution in Resolutions Adopted by African American State and Regional Conventions (1858, 1859, 1865)
From Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising (1887)
From Lecture on Haiti. The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies Delivered at the World’s Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago, Jan. 2d, 1893
“The Same” (1932)
From A History of Pan-African Revolt (1938 [1969])
“Mister Toussan” (1941)
“Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-China” (1954)

Bibliography
Contributors
Index
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African Americans and the Haitian Revolution

The importance of the Haitian Revolution as a defining event for African Ameri­ cans has long been recognized by scholars. In particular, the Haitian Revolution has been for African Americans of different eras a vehicle through which collect­ ive memory and identity are created and transformed – an event that has inspired and influenced black nationalism, abolitionism, black socialist and revolutionary thought, and Pan Africanism. Bringing together scholarly essays and helpfully annotated primary docu­ ments, African Americans and the Haitian Revolution collects not only the best recent scholarship on the subject, but also showcases the primary texts written by African Americans about the Haitian Revolution. Rather than being about the revolution itself, this collection attempts to show how the events in Haiti served to galvanize African Americans to think about themselves and to act in accord­ ance with their beliefs, and contributes to the study of African Americans in the wider Atlantic World. Maurice Jackson is Associate Professor in the Department of History at George­ town University. He is the author of Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism. Jacqueline Bacon is an independent scholar in San Diego, California. She is the author of Freedom’s Journal: The First African-American Newspaper.

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African Americans and the Haitian Revolution Selected Essays and Historical Documents

Edited by Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon

First published 2010 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2010 Taylor & Francis Typeset in Minion by Wearset Ltd, Boldon, Tyne and Wear All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data African Americans and the Haitian revolution : selected essays and historical documents / edited by Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon. – 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1.  African Americans–Race identity–History–19th century. 2.  African Americans– Attitudes–History–19th century. 3.  African Americans–Intellectual life–19th century. 4.  Black nationalism–United States–History–19th century. 5.  Haiti–History–Revolution, 1791–1804–Influence. 6.  Haiti–History–Revolution, 1791–1804–Historiography. 7.  Haiti–History–Revolution, 1791–1804–Sources. 8.  Slave insurrections–Haiti.  I. Jackson, Maurice, 1950– II. Bacon, Jacqueline, 1965– E185.625.A3843 2009 305.896'07309034–dc22 2009024036 ISBN10: 0-415-80375-6 (hbk) ISBN10: 0-415-80376-4 (pbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-80375-5 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-80376-2 (pbk)

Contents



Introduction

1

M aurice J ackson and J ac q ueline B acon

Part I

Essays 1

Fever and Fret: The Haitian Revolution and African American Responses

7 9

M aurice J ackson and J ac q ueline B acon

2

Afro-�American Sailors and The International Communication Network: The Case of Newport Bowers

25

J ulius S . S cott

3

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism: Northern African Americans’ Invocations of Haiti in the Early Nineteenth Century

39

S ara C . Fanning

4

“The Black Republic”: The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816–1862

57

L eslie M . A lexander

5

“A Revolution Unexampled in the History of Man”: The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, 1827–1829

81

J ac q ueline B acon

6

Antebellum African Americans, Public Commemoration, and the Haitian Revolution: A Problem of Historical Mythmaking

93

M itch K achun

7

American Toussaints: Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War M atthew J . C lav in

107

vi  •  Contents 8

“The Spirit of Human Brotherhood,” “The Sisterhood of Nations,” and “Perfect Manhood”: Frederick Douglass and the Rhetorical Significance of the Haitian Revolution

123

G len M c C lish

9

No Man Could Hinder Him: Remembering Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution in the History and Culture of the African American People

141

M aurice J ackson

Part II

Historical Documents

165

“The Condition and Prospects of Hayti” (1826)

167

J ohn B rowne R usswurm

The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, the First African American Newspaper: 1827–1828

169

From A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; With a Sketch of the Character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (For the Benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841

177

J ames M c C une S mith

From St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots. A Lecture, Delivered before the Metropolitan Athenaeum, London, May 16, and at St. Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia, December 20, 1854

183

W illiam W ells B rown

From A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-�Government, and Civilized Progress, as Demonstrated by Historical Events of the Haytian Revolution; and the Subsequent Acts of that People Since Their National Independence (1857)

189

J ames T heodore H olly

The Haitian Revolution in Resolutions Adopted by African American State and Regional Conventions (1858, 1859, 1865)

194

From Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising (1887)

195

W illiam J . S immons

Contents  •  vii From Lecture on Haiti. The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies Delivered at the World’s Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago, Jan. 2d, 1893

202

F rederick D ouglass

“The Same” (1932)

212

L angston H ughes

From A History of Pan-�African Revolt (1938 [1969])

214

C . L . R . J ames

“Mister Toussan” (1941)

223

R alph E llison

“Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-Â�China” (1954)

230

Paul R obeson



Bibliography Contributors Index

233 249 253

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Introduction Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon

My brethren, let us not be cast down under these and many other abuses we at present labour under: for the darkest is before the break of day. My brethren, let us remember what a dark day it was with our African brethren, six years ago, in the French West-Â�Indies. Nothing but the snap of the whip was heard, from morning to evening. Prince Hall, A Charge, Delivered to the African Lodge, June 24, 1797 The United States revolution brought us the Declaration of Independence, the French, the Declaration of the Rights of Manâ•›.â•›.â•›. In terms of world historical movements and revolutions, [the Haitian Revolution] was actually the most important of the three because it extended the ideals enshrined in the American and French Revolutionsâ•›.â•›.â•›. A critically important question for African-Â�Americans is, “Why has this monumental achievement been so erased from our history and from our consciousness?” Danny Glover, Fall 2008 From the time of the Haitian Revolution to today, this singular and momentous event has had a profound influence on the development of African American history, culture, and political thought. Prince Hall, an African American who had fought in the war against Great Britain, applauded events in Haiti and reflected on their implications for the United States. In his 1797 speech to the Boston African Masonic Lodge, Hall noted the oppression of the people of Haiti – then the French colony of Saint Domingue – just years before. Yet he felt, in light of the Haitian revolutionary movement, which held the promise of a freedom-Â�filled future, that African Americans should be encouraged rather than disheartened. Over two hundred years later, actor and activist Danny Glover, discussing his film project on the Haitian Revolution and one of its leaders, Toussaint L’Ouverture, noted the revolution’s profound impact, its role in advancing ideals of freedom and equality, and the need to comprehend its significance not only for African Americans but for all people of African descent and their allies. As Hall asserted that the revolution could inspire his brethren, Glover proposed that he and others were committed to continuing to memorialize and commemorate it for a new generation of Americans of all races, particularly those of African descent, even as traditional histories have often omitted or undervalued it.1

2  •  Jackson and Bacon As the Haitian Revolution has been examined, remembered, commemorated, and represented in literature and art by African Americans for over two centuries, it has influenced how blacks in the United States have viewed themselves and their connections to people of African descent throughout the world, past and present. The Haitian Revolution has been for African Americans of different eras a vehicle through which collective memory and identity has been created and transformed and an event that has inspired and influenced black nationalism, abolitionism, black socialist and revolutionary thought, and Pan Africanism. It has served as an example of black self-Â�determination that has strengthened communal bonds and informed the thinking of independent African American leaders; a metaphor for discussing slavery, race, and revolution in the United States; and a key area of study for black historians. Given the richness and range of this topic, scholars from a variety of disciplines have explored various aspects of African Americans’ responses to the Haitian Revolution in literature, music, art, rhetoric, and political discourse. In light of recent trends in American studies of emphasizing the significance of the Atlantic world on America’s foundation and cultures, the Haitian Revolution emerges as a particularly important event in and of itself and an example of an area of research that affords broader and more international considerations of key topics – particularly race relations, nationhood and national identity, and migration – than in previous scholarship. Atlantic history, as described by Marcus Rediker and Michael Jiménez, explores the “notion that the Americas, Africa, and Europe have composed a ‘regional system’ from the late fifteenth century to the present,” which is key to the contemporary study of various “subregions,” including the United States. Caroline Bynam notes the trend of considering “bodies of water” as well as “land masses .â•›.â•›. as sites of connectivity and mutual influence,” through which we can explore “diasporas, mobility, diversity, cultural borrowing, and the porousness of borders.” For African American studies, these terms are particularly resonant since, as Xiomara Santamarina indicates, scholars have become “increasingly oriented toward a spatially expanded analysis of African-Â�American cultural practices in a broad sense that includes the Americas and the Atlantic world,” that “frames notions of ‘blackness’ in the New World as .â•›.â•›. fundamentally transnational,” and that “grants greater visibility to the dialogues and exchanges between black communities around the Altantic rim.” It is also “transtemporal,” in that it “uncover[s] discursive formations across periods and space,” proposing “trajectories” that span and link different periods.2 From this perspective, studies of the ways in which African Americans responded to the Haitian Revolution in rhetoric, literature, and art significantly expand traditional views of black history, illuminating the development of transnational and pan-Â�African identities, demonstrating key influences on black political thought and activism, and revealing the global vision and concerns of African American artists and intellectuals. Paying tribute to Caribbean historian C. L. R. James’s seminal work on the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins,

Introduction  •  3 Laurent Dubois notes that James “convincingly demanded that historians take seriously the Haitian Revolution as an event of global significance, a touchstone in the political history of Europe and the Americas.” Influenced by James, “subsequent historians” began looking “beyond national contexts as they studied the circulation of revolutionary ideals”; “paying close attention to the ways the central pillar of the Atlantic world, the slave trade and slavery, shaped life and ideas in Europe, Africa, and the Americas”; and “demand[ing] of us that we recall that, within this world, the enslaved were never simply workers, or victims, but always actors and thinkers.”3 Scholars from a variety of disciplines have been influenced by these approaches to the study of the Haitian Revolution. This book brings together and expands this diverse and interdisciplinary body of scholarly work, offering in Part I a collection of studies by contemporary scholars of African Americans’ responses to the Haitian Revolution, from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century, and in Part II key primary texts from noted black leaders that directly illustrate the richness and resonance of this tradition. In Chapter 1, we provide a brief history of the Haitian Revolution as well as its aftermath, particularly its influence on the relationship between the United States and Haiti. We then trace the responses of subsequent generations of black leaders, considering how the historical contexts in which they acted, wrote, and spoke enabled them to evoke the enduring resonance and apply the lessons of the Haitian Revolution to the particular struggles for freedom of their times. Adopting a “regional viewpoint” from which to examine the connections among Atlantic communities in the immediate aftermath of the Haitian Revolution, Julius Scott offers in Chapter 2 a study of Newport Bowers, an African American sailor who travelled to Haiti in 1793. Bowers, Scott demonstrates, was not unique, but rather was among those “mobile black observers for whom the revolution in Saint-Â�Domingue represented an opportunity to think about, define, and test the wider boundaries of Afro-Â�American life.” Although it ended in tragedy, Bowers’s journey suggests his generation’s identification with the revolutionary generation in San Domingue was influenced by interactions with the island nation and enabled them to define the African American struggle for freedom within a global context. Sara Fanning demonstrates in Chapter 3 that early nineteenth-Â�century black nationalism – an ideology usually associated with African Americans’ opposition to the American Colonization Society (ACS) – rose in large part out of identification with the black nation of Haiti and the inspiration of its revolution and independence. Fanning notes the invocation of Haiti in popular speeches, writings, and naming practices and the influence of the Haitian emigration movement of the 1820s on free African Americans in the north, and she reveals that it was not only the “militant slaves” historians have focused on who looked to Haiti for models but also “politicized free blacks.” Chapters 4 and 5 complement Fanning’s treatment by focusing in depth on two areas crucial to northern free blacks’ identification with Haiti. Leslie Alexander examines closely

4  •  Jackson and Bacon the Haitian emigration movement in Chapter 4, focusing not only on the more well-Â�known emigration movement of the 1820s but also on the less familiar revival of emigrationist sentiment from the late 1850s until the Civil War. Alexander shows how African American leaders’ veneration of Haitian independence – which, as she notes “remained consistent throughout the antebellum era” – and their reactions to events in Haiti during the antebellum period informed their criticisms of American policy toward the nation, ultimately leading activists to once again look toward Haiti as a potential new home starting in the late 1850s. Jacqueline Bacon’s analysis in Chapter 5 of articles about Haiti in Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper (1827–1829), shows how the coverage of Haiti in the early black press linked the Haitian Revolution to “antebellum black self-Â�consciousness and to the African American struggle for freedom and civil rights during the 1820s.” Bacon explores how articles about Haiti in Freedom’s Journal reflect a pan-Â�African consciousness; offer ideals of masculinity and femininity that are linked to national and community identity and citizenship; and feature accounts of the post-Â�revolutionary, independent state of Haiti to counter white racist perceptions of the new nation and praise black autonomy and nationalism. When considering African Americans’ commemoration of the Haitian Revolution, though, we must also be skeptical of easy answers and ready to examine critically conventional historical accounts. Mitch Kachun provides such a challenge in Chapter 6, in which he asserts “the absence of any organized public demonstrations commemorating the Haitian Revolution.” While this finding may not be surprising, considering that violent white responses to African Americans’ public celebrations were common and would no doubt be likely given white anxieties about the Haitian Revolution, Kachun examines why he believes historians have assumed such events took place despite what he argues is a lack of archival evidence supporting their claims. Kachun’s provocative investigation raises important questions about how historians should approach accounts of a historical event with such emotional resonance and symbolic meaning as the Haitian Revolution, and about what role their own conceptions may play in their ultimate findings. During the American Civil War, Matthew Clavin demonstrates in Chapter 7, as free and enslaved black men enlisted in the Union Army, invocations of the Haitian Revolution and identification with its heroes, particularly Toussaint L’Ouverture, took on new significance and shaped the identities of African Americans fighting for their freedom. Toussaint, Clavin argues, “was for African Americans the touchstone of a transatlantic identity,” which linked these Civil War soldiers to “a black revolutionary tradition that was deeply rooted in the eighteenth-Â�century Atlantic world.” Their identification with Toussaint and the Haitian Revolution also allowed African Americans and their white allies to invoke revolutionary, subversive alternatives to white supremacy and to affirm black manhood. Chapters 8 and 9 take us into the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, demonstrating that the longstanding implications of the Haitian Revolution for

Introduction  •  5 African Americans continued to resonate, even as changing times gave it new meanings. In Chapter 8, Glen McClish examines two speeches about Haiti and its revolutionary history given by Frederick Douglass in 1893, the first at ceremonies dedicating the Haitian Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition and the second at an African American church. Douglass, who had long been interested in Haiti and who was the American minister resident and consul general to Haiti from 1889 to 1891, offered in the two orations contrasting arguments about Haiti, its revolution, and its connection to the United States. As McClish demonstrates, these speeches “reveal the complex, multifaceted nature of Haiti and the Haitian revolution as topoi for African American rhetors of the nineteenth century” and the ways that the history of the island nation resonated in varying ways for Americans of different races. Maurice Jackson brings us into the twentieth century in Chapter 9, from W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington at the turn of the century to Ntozake Shange and her 1975 play For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf and 1985 novel Betsey Brown. Jackson analyzes the ways African Americans such as writer Ralph Ellison, artist Jacob Lawrence, activist and entertainer Paul Robeson, and musician Charles Mingus featured the Haitian Revolution in written texts, music, drama, and art and linked Haiti’s past to ongoing oppression and American intervention in the island nation, such as the US occupation from 1915 to 1934 and the nation’s current impoverishment. He also examines how African Americans’ responses to Haiti during these periods shaped and was influenced by historical events, such as the monitoring of black and other voices by the House Un-Â�American Activities Committee and the Black Power struggle of the 1960s. Selected texts discussed in the essays in Part I are offered in Part II, allowing readers to experience the richness of the body of African American responses to the Haitian Revolution for themselves. We bring together works from a variety of genres – oratory, pamphlets, journalism, fiction, and poetry – that are in many cases difficult to locate and have often been overlooked or forgotten. These texts suggest that there is much work still to be done regarding African Americans’ writing, oratory, art, and music about Haiti and that this area of black intellectual production deserves study and attention that it has not hitherto received. It is our goal that readers will be both instructed and engaged by the continuing commitment of African Americans to the history and people of Haiti. It is our hope that the words in this volume, the voices of scholars and intellectuals, poets and activists, will not only help keep the memory of Haiti’s inspirational past alive but will also keep us mindful that the people of Haiti still suffer and have not yet realized fully the lofty goals of their revolution. There are many people we would like to thank for championing this project and helping us bring it to completion. Maurice would like to thank his wife Laura Ginsburg and their children Lena and Miles for their love, understanding, vigilance, and patience. He also thanks his buddies, Hank Hucles in Gloucester, Virginia, James Steele in Brooklyn, New York, Ron Clark and James Bennett in

6  •  Jackson and Bacon Washington, DC, and Charlie Haden the great bassist and jazz innovator in Los Angeles, California. He is grateful to his many students and to Jim Collins and Richard Stites in the history department and Amadou Kone and Jean-Â�Max Guieu in the French Department at Georgetown University, Michael Zuckerman of the University of Pennsylvania, and Elaine Crane of Fordham for their insight. Jacqueline thanks her husband Glen McClish and children, Roger and Henry, for their constant love and nurturing. She is grateful to Frances Smith Foster and Robert Matthews for discussions about Freedom’s Journal and Langston Hughes, respectively, which enriched her understanding of them. She is also appreciative of the support of her parents Gary and Wynne Bacon and her church family at Christ United Presbyterian Church in San Diego. David Brion Davis and Marcus Rediker gave us valuable advice about issues that arose in the course of our research and writing and encouraged us that such a book was needed. At Routledge we are grateful for the assistance and advice of the (always patient and encouraging) Kimberly Guinta and Matthew Kopel. Last but not least, we thank those scholars whose work appears in Part I of the book and who have dedicated their careers to studying and honoring the work of those featured in this book. Notes 1 Hall, “Charge,” 47; Glover, “We’re in This Together,” 41. Hall was attached to the 38th Foot Regiment near Boston; he was initiated in the Free and Accepted Masons in March of 1775. Since no lodge would accept blacks, however, he later founded African Lodge No. 1, North America’s first black Freemasonry society. In 1787 it was granted official recognition. 2 Rediker and Jiménez, “What is Atlantic History,” 3; Bynam, “Perspectives,” 82; Santamarina, “Are We There Yet,” 305–7. 3 Dubois, “Reading The Black Jacobins,” 39.

Part I

Essays

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1

Fever and Fret The Haitian Revolution and African American Responses Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon In his classic The Black Jacobins, C. L. R. James noted the profound influence and enduring significance of the Haitian Revolution, the momentous struggle that began in 1791 and yielded the first post-Â�colonial independent black nation and the only nation to gain independence through slave rebellion: “The revolt is the only successful slave revolt in history, and the odds it had to overcome is evidence of the magnitude of the interests that were involved. The transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single white man, into a people able to organise themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of their day, is one of the great epics of revolutionary struggle and achievement.” In studying this history, James established, we must attend carefully to context; in “a revolution, when the ceaseless slow accumulation of centuries bursts into volcanic eruption,” “the meteoric flares and flights” must be considered “projections of the sub-Â�soil from which they came.” We must also understand, James noted, that all responses to the Haitian Revolution, including his own, are influenced by the environment in which they are written. Speaking of his own vantage point during the 1960s, he indicated that “it is impossible to recollect historical emotions in .â•›.â•›. tranquility”; rather, his work on the Haitian Revolution is a product of its time, “with something of the fever and the fret.”1 James’s observations about responses to the Haitian Revolution are instructive when considering how this key historical event has been remembered, represented, interpreted, commemorated, and celebrated, from the eighteenth century to the twenty-Â�first, particularly by African Americans. In historical accounts, art, literature, and oratory, African Americans have long challenged conventional narratives about the Haitian Revolution, offering alternatives that have uncovered and expanded the context in which it is considered. At the same time, as with all discourse, their responses were shaped by the events that took Material in this chapter was previously published, in modified form, in Maurice Jackson, “â•›‘Friends of the Negro! Fly with me, The path is open to the sea’: Remembering the Haitian Revolution in the History, Music, and Culture of the African American People,” Early American Studies 6.1 (Spring 2008): 59–77. Copyright © 2008 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

10  •  Jackson and Bacon place as they wrote, spoke, and created these artistic productions. Black abolitionists seeking models for self-Â�determination in the antislavery movement and alternatives to white abolitionist dictates viewed the Haitian Revolution in terms of their own struggle and that of Southern slaves. Frederick Douglass, writing in the late nineteenth century, saw the Haitian Revolution and contemporary violence against African Americans in the South as linked, illustrations of the ongoing oppression of people of African descent as well as of their ability to defeat it. In 1954, Paul Robeson compared Ho Chi Minh with Toussaint L’Ouverture as he condemned European imperialism and anticipated United States involvement in Viet Nam. All of these responses reflect “the fever and the fret” of their times. As we in this chapter provide a history of the Haitian Revolution, briefly outline relevant subsequent events influencing the relationship between the US and Haiti, and trace the responses of generations of African Americans following Haiti’s independence, we do not presume that we can escape the context of our own times, in which slavery, racism, war, imperialism, and insurrection have taken on particular (although not always new) forms. We also acknowledge that the history we write builds on the histories that have been written in other times, from nineteenth-Â�century black abolitionists to such luminaries as James and Rayford Logan, without which the contemporary work on the revolution that will follow in subsequent chapters would not be possible. The Haitian Revolution and US–Haitian Relations In 1789, the year that the French Revolution began, nearly half a million enslaved Africans toiled in the French Colony of Saint Domingue under indescribably brutal conditions and were subject to horrendous violence and oppression as they created immense wealth for the French colonists who held them as chattel.2 Alongside the slaves and the 32,000 European colonists – which included slaveholders, overseers, tradesmen, and poor whites – lived the affranchis, free mulattoes or blacks, a group numbering 24,000. By 1790, to use James’s terms, “the ceaseless slow accumulation of centuries” of tensions, cruelty, and oppression could no longer be contained. The undying and ongoing desire of the slaves for liberty, which had long been expressed in resistance and uprisings among communities of runaway slaves; the competing interests of and tensions among the slaves, affranchis, and colonists; and the influence of the French Revolution produced the “volcanic eruption” that was the beginning of the Haitian Revolution. In 1790, a rebellion in Saint Domingue led by Vincent Ogé, a mulatto who had lobbied in Paris for the rights of free people of color in the colony, was crushed, and Ogé was brutally executed. His death was seen by many as martyrdom and suggested the more widespread and prolonged resistance that could arise in Saint Domingue. To avert such possibilities, the French Assembly resolved in 1791 to enfranchise some affranchis. When white colonists refused to recognize this change, and fighting broke out between them and the affranchis,

Fever and Fret  •  11 the slaves rose in rebellion. The French government granted all affranchis citizenship in 1792, hoping they would aid the white colonists in quashing the slave rebellion, but the white colonists resisted, and conflict continued between all factions. Leaders emerged, including the former slave Toussaint L’Ouverture, who soon rose as a successful commander; Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, also a former slave; Henri Christophe, who was free before the revolution; and the mulatto leaders André Rigaud and Alexandre Pétion. In 1793, Leger-Â�Felicité Sonthonax, one of the three commissioners sent by France in 1792 to restore order, abolished slavery by decree, which was confirmed by the French government the following year. Toussaint emerged as a key leader, gaining the support of the French, with Rigaud as a strong rival. He defeated Rigaud in 1800, and in 1801, Toussaint declared himself governor-Â�general for life. In France, though, Napoleon Bonaparte had determined that he would restore French rule in Saint Domingue and reestablish slavery, and he sent his brother-Â� in-law General Charles Leclerc there to carry out this plan.3 After months of fighting, Toussaint and the French forces agreed to an armistice, which the French broke, capturing Toussaint and imprisoning him. He died in France the following year. In Haiti, Dessalines and Christophe led a black army against the French, who surrendered in 1803. A declaration was issued on January 1, 1804, creating the independent nation of Haiti; the name was a reference to its indigenous people (and was spelled Hayti by many nineteenth-Â�century African Amerians). Dessalines was now governor for life, although he soon took on the title of Emperor. When Dessalines was killed in 1806, Christophe and Pétion fought for control of the nation, with Christophe presiding over a monarchy in the North and Pétion ruling the South. Facing mutiny in 1820, Christophe killed himself; Jean-Â� Pierre Boyer, the successor to Pétion, became president of the entire country. Although France recognized Haiti in 1825, with Britain following in 1833, it was not until after the secession of the Southern states in 1862 that the United States recognized the island nation. In 1889, the United States President Benjamin Harrison appointed Frederick Douglass to the position of minister resident and consul general to Haiti following a tradition of earlier presidents in appointing blacks to the position.4 Douglass had long been interested in Haiti and had served on the Commission of Inquiry for the Annexation of Santo Domingo to the United States of America during the previous decade.5 Douglass’s position, however, became quite difficult – and his clearly complicated feelings about American power in the Caribbean versus Haitian independence came to the fore – when he was asked to negotiate for a US military outpost in Haiti, part of the continuing American quest to expand its commercial and military power by establishing naval bases in the Caribbean. In particular, in 1891 the US sought the Môle St. Nicholas, a harbor in the northwest of Haiti, and Douglass played a difficult role in the ultimately failed negotiations for it. He supported establishing the base and – in his role as minister to Haiti and as requested by the American government – participated in

12  •  Jackson and Bacon the negotiations for the harbor. He was, though, distressed by the approach taken by other American officials toward the Haitians during the negotiations and was not surprised when the Haitian government refused; in addition, he understood that the Haitian people saw the attempt as an attack upon their independence. To defend himself against the charges that he had botched or sabotaged the negotiations after they failed, Douglass offered his account of the affair in a two-Â� part article published in the North American Review in September and October 1891. While the particulars are complicated, Douglass’s support for the Haitian people’s right to determine their own destiny is germane to our subject. “Nothing is more repugnant to the thoughts and feelings of the masses of that country,” Douglass declared, “than the alienation of a single rood of their territory to a foreign power. This sentiment originated, very naturally, in the circumstances in which Haïti began her national existence.â•›.â•›.â•›. Of course our peculiar and intense prejudice against the colored race was not forgotten.” Douglass’s admiration and respect for the Haitian people was reflected in his comment in his final autobiography that his service as minister to Haiti and his subsequent appointment by Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite as Commissioner of the Haitian Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 were “crowning honors to my long career and a fitting and happy close to my whole public life.”6 In the twentieth and twenty-Â�first centuries, US relations with and influence on Haiti have taken various forms. The United States Marines invaded the nation in 1915, and the US occupied Haiti until 1934. Continuing US intervention and destabilization of Haiti and the Caribbean have contributed to the nation’s rule during most of the rest of the twentieth century by dictators such as François Duvalier. In 1990, in what is considered the first free election in Haiti’s history, Jean-Â�Bertrand Aristide was elected President of the nation, winning a landslide victory. He was overthrown in 1991, however, in a violent coup, and it was not until 1994, with the aid of an international coalition including the United States, that he was reinstated. In 1995, Aristide’s associate Rene Préval won the election to succeed Aristide, with Aristide’s support; in 2000 Aristide once more was elected President. In February 2004, Aristide was removed from power in an episode that is still the subject of debate. The official United States position is that, threatened by an armed militia, Aristide resigned and asked for American help to leave the country. Aristide claims it was in fact a “forced resignation” and removal by the United States, calling his ouster “a kidnapping .â•›.â•›. under the cover of coup d’etat.” Many supporters, such as Randall Robinson, founder of TransAfrica Forum and leader of the anti-Â�apartheid movement in the US, have maintained that the United States was behind the coup. In January 2009, as she has done nearly every year since shortly after the coup in 2004, Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California and various colleagues in the House of Representatives – including former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich – sponsored a bill, H. R. 331, to establish a commission that would “examine and evaluate the role of the United States Government in the February 2004 coup

Fever and Fret  •  13 d’état in the Republic of Haiti.” Although Lee’s bills have not advanced beyond the committee, the new administration of President Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States, in 2009 has given some hope that the truth can be determined. In any event, as Deborah Jenson notes, the 2004 coup is linked symbolically to the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath another kidnapping, in effect, of a Haitian leader by a Western power, as in Toussaint’s abduction by the French: Aristide’s charges .â•›.â•›. regardless of the ultimate findings of investigations, lawsuits, scholarly inquiry, elections and other attempts to resolve responsibility for the events of February 29[,] will thus continue to resonate as a symbolic kidnapping of political process in a former colony inhabited by the descendents of self-Â�emancipated slaves. The mimetic backdrop of the Haitian Revolution and the Haitian Independence .â•›.â•›. load this allegation of bicentennial kidnapping with the historical weight of a centuries-Â�old struggle for black freedom and equality in the Western hemisphere.7 Haiti and Slave Revolts in the American South As is the case with so many events in American history, black and white people have at times given different meanings to the same phenomena. The white reaction to the Haitian Revolution was utter shock and fear, which resulted in surveillance and draconian laws. African Americans, on the other hand, saw in Haiti and in the image of Toussaint the grand possibilities of their race and its movement toward freedom. In some cases, Toussaint and the revolution served not only as an inspiration but as a call to arms. If Virginia was the seedbed of revolution for whites, it was also home to black revolutionaries, such as Gabriel Prosser, as well. Prosser lived in Henrico County, Virginia, near Richmond, the capital. A blacksmith by training, he was familiar with the revolutionary rhetoric of the period, a rhetoric that encompassed Haiti. Prosser was not alone. Virginia’s Governor James Monroe observed that “occurrences in St. Domingo for some years past .â•›.â•›. doubtless did excite some sensation among our Slaves.” Historians have also taken note of Haiti’s effect on subsequent events and on both whites and blacks. Douglas Egerton notes, “Saint Domingue served as an inspiration to Gabriel and completed his development.â•›.â•›.â•›. The distant figure of Toussaint .â•›.â•›. seemed to clarify the domestic situation and told him that if he dared, success might be within his reach.” Stephen Oates agrees: “Though not a single white had died, the Gabriel conspiracy shook Virginians .â•›.â•›. because it seemed incontestable proof that Santo Domingo had been boiling right underneath them.”8 Historian Sylvia Frey has observed, “Stunned by the military success of the Saint Domingue insurgents and sensing the spread of revolutionary fervor, white southerners moved forcefully to break up black communication networks and isolate their slaves from news from Saint Domingue.” Because of their fear of black agency, Alfred Hunt asserts, Southern whites, in addition to fortifying

14  •  Jackson and Bacon themselves militarily, “began to erect [their] intellectual blockade against potentially dangerous doctrines.” The Genius of Universal Emancipation, observing the nineteenth anniversary of the Haitian Revolution, described celebrants proclaiming that “nothing is more formidable than a people oppressed and driven to despair.”9 As historians have established, the Haitian Revolution appears to have influenced the revolt leaders Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner as well.10 The confessions of accused conspirators in Vesey’s rebellion – albeit documents we must be skeptical about due to their coerced nature and the reporting of white authorities – mentioned Haiti and the influence of its history on their leader. Although, as Alfred Hunt notes, there is “no direct evidence connecting Nat Turner’s short-Â�lived but bloody revolt in 1831 with the Haitians,” circumstantial evidence suggests a link. Most likely, as Monroe Fordham remarks, the Haitian Revolution was “a source of inspiration for those mainland blacks who dared to strike a violent blow for their freedom.”11 Shortly after Turner’s 1831 revolt in Southampton, Virginia, Governor James Floyd received a letter and read part of it to the Virginia legislature. Signed “Nero,” the letter predicted further revolt under a leader who was once a slave in Virginia and “escaped to St. Domingo, where his noble soul became warmed by the spirit of freedom, and where he imbibed a righteous indignation, and an unqualified hatred for the oppressors of his race.” Nero related that “Hayti offers an asylum for those who survive the approaching carnage.” Although the letter writer’s identity and the letter’s validity are unknown, historian Ira Berlin establishes that he was likely African American and that his letter reveals an important “dimension of black consciousness.”12 These rebellions involved careful planning by charismatic and learned leaders who were inspired by the legacy of Toussaint.13 All involved men who had worked near the sea or were skilled craftsmen who spread revolutionary ideas. All fell victim to the unpredictable weather and to blacks who betrayed the rebellions. Citing the flow of information about events, Adam Rothman has observed that “letters, newspaper reports, and refugees from the island disseminated information about the ongoing slave rebellions throughout the Atlantic world, where for better or worse, it became a ubiquitous sign of both the universal passion for liberty and slavery’s latent dangers.” Rothman concludes, “The slave revolt penetrated the consciousness of North Americans in every rank and station.â•›.â•›.â•›. It inspired some people and appalled others.”14 Among the free people of color in Louisiana, Rothman notes, were “men who had fought in St. Domingue.”15 Gary Nash links the growing black awareness about Haiti to the rising call for freedom: “Philadelphia’s black leaders heard for the first time that in Saint Domingue, among other men ‘conscious of invaded rights,’ African sugar and coffee workers rose en masse to ignite the greatest black rebellion ever seen in the Americas.”16 In the words of Julius Scott, “the mass emigration from Saint-Â� Domingue following the black rebels’ victory at Cap Français in the spring of 1793 scattered refugees of all descriptions throughout the Caribbean islands, but

Fever and Fret  •  15 the ports of the United States received the largest number of any American territory.â•›.â•›.â•›. Beginning in late June thousands of people fleeing rebellion in Saint-Â� Domingue boarded North American and other vessels destined for ports all over America, where they recounted the events leading to the rebel victory in the Cap.”17 Nash observes that “American-Â�born black Philadelphians thought of themselves differently because of the Haitian Revolution, as more consciously a part of an Afro-Â�Atlantic people attempting to overpower white supremacy.” Beginning in 1808, ministers in Philadelphia started giving sermons on “New Year’s Day, the date abolishing the American slave trade but also the date of Haitian independence in 1804.”18 According to David Brion Davis, “Yet even the vaguest awareness that blacks had somehow cast off their chains and founded the new republic of Haiti brought a glimmer of hope to thousands of slaves and free blacks who were the common victims of a remarkably unified Atlantic slave system.”19 The Appeal to Emigrate In 1815 Paul Cuffee, a Massachusetts sailmaker, spent $4,000 of his own money to finance an expedition of thirty-Â�eight colonizationists to Sierra Leone, boasting that thousands more had sent him pleas begging for passage to Africa. Black leaders in Philadelphia opposed Cuffee’s plan. Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, along with James Forten, a black Philadelphia abolitionist and philanthropist, began to lead the opposition against colonization.20 Yet despite the controversy over African colonization, even opponents saw the glimmer of hope that a free Haiti provided,21 and in 1817 Allen declared Haiti “would become a great nation” whose inhabitants “could not always be detained in their present bondage.”22 In 1825 the Reverend Williams Watkins declared in Baltimore that Haiti offered “an irrefutable argument to prove .â•›.â•›. that the descendents of Africa never were designed by their Creator to sustain inferiority, or even a mediocrity, in the chain of being; but they are as capable of intellectual improvements as Europeans, or any other nation upon the earth.”23 According to the historian Peter Hinks, by early 1825 “well over 1,000 colonists had left for the black republic.” He adds, “By April 1826 the Haitian government estimated that 6,000 African Americans had settled on the island. Yet by the same date more than one-Â�third of them had returned to America, disgruntled over harsh conditions and discouraged by numerous cultural obstacles.”24 Even after the return of many of these emigrants, Haiti still held promise for some who might wish to leave the United States. David Walker’s fiery 1829 pamphlet David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,25 described Haiti as “the glory of the Black and the terror of tyrants.”26 Speaking against the plans of the American Colonization Society (ACS) to send freed blacks to Africa, he told his fellow African Americans, “If any of us see fit to go away, go to those who have been for many years, and are now our greatest earthly friends and benefactors – the English. If not so, go to our brethren, the Haytians, who, according to their word, are bound to protect and comfort us.”27 One man who

16  •  Jackson and Bacon took Walker’s advice was Hezekiah Grice, who left for Haiti in 1832 and became the director of public works in Port-Â�au-Prince from 1843 until 1854. Howard Bell has documented how the Liberator “spoke well of the invitation of the colored people to come to the Dominican end of the island of Hispaniola.” Bell surveyed the 1853 proceedings of a convention of blacks in Canada and observed that for the participants, “if Canada were not an acceptable haven, then Haiti would make a good home.’’28 Although colonization’s high point was during the 1820s and 1830s, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 spurred later efforts for emigration to Africa and Haiti.29 Around that time more than 30,000 blacks sought refuge in Canada, while others went to Haiti. President Abraham Lincoln later supported their migration. Martin Delany, a Black Nationalist who favored emigration, began to organize the emigration of blacks from America to Africa, and in 1859 he visited Nigeria. As Jane H. and William H. Pease remark, “Increasingly Haiti was the focus for the emigrationist sentiment. When Delany’s treaty for land in the Niger Valley was wiped out by warfare among the Yorubas, the Caribbean island seemed for many emigrationists the most likely spot.”30 The Memory of “Hayti” in the Early Black Press The black press was an important forum for keeping the memory of the Haitian Revolution alive and interpreting its significance for African Americans. In May 1827, the editors of the first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, offered readers a three-Â�part article on the revolution, its hero Toussaint L’Ouverture, and its enduring lessons: There are very few events on record which have produced more extraordinary men than the revolution in St. Domingo. The negro character at that eventful period, burst upon us in all the splendor of native and original greatness: And the subsequent transactions in that Island have presented the most incontestable proofs, that the negro is not, in general, wanting in the higher qualifications of the mind; and that, with the same advantages of liberty, independence and education, as their white brethren of Europe and America, the race would not be found deficient in hearts pregnant with heroic energies, and hands capable of wielding the sword of war, or swaying the rod of empire.31 Founded in 1827 by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish, Freedom’s Journal had a fairly wide distribution for its time and was distributed to black and white readers in the North and in parts of the South as well as in England, Canada, and Haiti. Six months before assuming the co-Â�editorship of Freedom’s Journal, Russwurm gave the commencement speech at his alma mater, Bowdoin College, on September 6, 1826. The third black college graduate in the United States, Russwurm chose as the title of his talk “The Condition and Prospects of Hayti.” He asked the graduating class and their guests, “Can we conceive of any thing which can cheer the desponding spirit, can reanimate and stimulate it to put every thing to the hazard? Liberty can do this. Such were its effects upon the Haytians – men

Fever and Fret  •  17 who in slavery showed neither spirit nor genius.â•›.â•›.â•›.” Russwurm believed that the revolution changed all this, for “when Liberty, when once Freedom struck their astonished ears, they became new creatures,” a development that showed that slavery “cannot entirely destroy our faculties.” Such men as “Toussaint L’Ouverture[,] Dessalines and Christophe” were proof of this.32 In February 1841, Dr. James McCune Smith, a leading New York abolitionist and Scottish-Â�trained medical doctor, delivered a lecture on Toussaint L’Overture at a benefit for the Colored Orphan Asylum.33 The Colored American, like Douglass’s North Star, printed excerpts from Dr. Smith’s “Haytian Revolutions.” Several parallels were drawn between the histories of Haitian independence and European conquest: “But the bright and happy state of things which the genius of Toussaint had almost created out of elements the most discordant was doomed to be of short duration. For the dark spirit of Napoleon, glutted, but not satiated with the gory banquet afforded at the expense of Europe and Africa, seized upon this [Haiti] .â•›.â•›. as the next victim of its remorseless rapacity.”34 A biography of Toussaint in the North Star compared Toussaint to George Washington: “He [Toussaint] was truly the Washington of Hayti; and if his final success did not equal that of our own revolutionary leader, it must not be attributed to any lack of talents on his part, but to the incomparable baseness and perfidy of his enemy.”35 The North Star also reviewed the London performance of Toussaint L’Ouverture, a play by Alphonse de Lamartine, the French politician and antislavery activist. In the preface to the play de Lamartine wrote of Toussaint, “this man is a nation.”36 Early Black Writers and Speakers In an address given at the African Masonic Hall in Boston on February 27, 1833, Maria Stewart, the African American abolitionist, feminist, and orator whose works were frequently reprinted in William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator, borrowed the words of the French antislavery author Abbé Raynal, which were claimed by many to have influenced Toussaint L’Ouverture. In 1781, Raynal proposed, “There are so many indications of the impending storm, and the Negroes want only a chief, sufficiently courageous, to lead them on to vengeance and slaughter. Where is this great man, whom nature owes to her afflicted, oppressed, and tormented children? Where is he? He will undoubtedly appear, he will shew himself, he will lift up the sacred standard of liberty.” Stewart echoed Raynal’s words in speaking of the departed David Walker and indirectly of Toussaint: “But where is the man that has distinguished himself in the modern days by acting wholly in the defense of African rights and liberty? There was one, although he sleeps, his memory lives.”37 In 1854, the American novelist, autobiographer, dramatist, and historian William Wells Brown (c.1814–1884), who had escaped from slavery twenty years earlier, delivered a lecture (later published as a pamphlet), “St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and Its Patriots.” In 1863 he published The Black Man, His

18  •  Jackson and Bacon Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements. In a chapter titled “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” Brown wrote, “Toussaint by his superior knowledge of the character of his race, his humanity, generosity and courage, had gained the confidence of all whom he had under his command” and “succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations of the friends of freedom, in both England and France.” Brown added, “Toussaint liberated his countrymen: Washington enslaved a portion of his. When impartial history shall do justice to the St. Domingo revolution, the name Toussaint L’Ouverture will be placed high upon the roll of fame.”38 The Reverend James T. Holly recalled that “Toussaint by the evident superiority of his statesmanship, has left on the pages of the world’s statute book, an enduring and irrefutable testimony of the capacity of the Negro for self-Â� government, and the loftiest achievements in the National statesmanship.”39 On August 1, 1857, he dedicated a pamphlet containing a lecture on Haiti to the Reverend William C. Monroe of St. Mathews’s Church in Detroit. Titled A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self Government, and Civilized Progress, Holly’s lecture asserted that “this revolution is one of the noblest, grandest, and most justifiable outbursts against tyrannical oppression that is recorded on the pages of the world’s history.” He believed that the “Haytian Revolution is also the grandest political event of this or any other age,” and “in weighty causes, and wondrous and momentous features, it surpasses the American Revolution.” Holly observed that “the white colonists of St. Domingo, like our liberty loving and democratic fellow citizens of the United States, never meant to include this despised race, in their glowing dreams of ‘Liberties, Equality, and Fraternity.’â•›”40 Speaking of Toussaint, Holly remarked that “by his devotion to liberty and the cause of his race, so consistently maintained under all circumstances, [he] more than deif[ied] himself; he proved himself more than a patriot; he showed himself to be the unswerving friend and servant of God and humanity.”41 As Michael Zuckerman has noted, Toussaint knew as much, “saying his color was the cause of his being neglected” by the whites but admired by those of his race.42 In 1859 Holly preached that “the successful establishment of this Negro nationality .â•›.â•›. presents us with the strongest evidence and the most irrefragable proof of the equality of the Negro race.”43 Not coincidently, the New England Black State Convention weighed in on the issue of Haiti that year, passing a resolution that read: “Resolved, That notwithstanding the studied misÂ� representation of the proslavery American press with regard to the island of Hayti, we know that the Haytiens are the only people who achieved their independence by the sword, unaided by other nations; and that they have maintained it to the present hour, through their various revolutions, (which have been progressive steps towards Republicanism,) is full confirmation of their capacity for self-Â�government.”44 As they gained military experience, black soldiers came to have an even greater identification with Toussaint and his revolutionary ideology. On September 29,

Fever and Fret  •  19 1865, a few months after Lee’s surrender, the State Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina, rejoicing in that victory, passed a resolution that read, “Resolved, That we hail the event of emancipation, the establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau, protecting the interest of the colored people of the South – the recognition of the independence of Hayti and the Republic of Liberia.” This resolution was published nationally in the National Anti-Â�Slavery Standard of October 14, 1865.45 After the war, William J. Simmons, the son of slaves, a graduate of Howard University, a Civil War veteran, and an educator, included Toussaint L’Ouverture in his ambitious Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising, published in 1887, which was the first biographical dictionary of blacks, the majority of whom were born under slavery. He noted, “There was a French author called Abbé Raynal who was much opposed to slavery. One of his books fell into the hands of Toussaint and made a deep impression upon him.â•›.â•›.â•›. The question was discussed in that book, what should be done to overthrow slavery.” Simmons thought of Toussaint as he read Raynal and perhaps Maria Stewart, particularly the affirmation that “we must look elsewhere; a great courageous chief is all the Negroes need; where is he? Where is that great man whom nature owes to her vexed, oppressed and tormented children?”46 On January 2, 1893, Douglass, somewhat removed by time from his failed negotiations in Haiti and by then the former US minister to the Republic of Haiti, gave a speech in Quinn Chapel, in Chicago, to an audience of 1,500. He began by remarking, “My subject is Haiti, the Black Republic; the only self-Â�made Black Republic in the world. I am to speak to you of her character, her history, her importance, and her struggle from slavery to freedom and to statehood .â•›.â•›. of her past and present; of her probable destiny; and of the bearing of her example as a free and independent republic, upon what may be the destiny of the African race in our own country and elsewhere.” He added, “We should not forget that the freedom you and I enjoy to-Â�day .â•›.â•›. that the freedom that has come to the colored race the world over, is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti ninety years ago. When they struck for freedom .â•›.â•›. they struck for the freedom of every black man in the world.” For Douglass, Haiti was “the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century.” Until the revolution, “no Christian nation had abolished negro slavery.â•›.â•›.â•›. Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our own land of liberty and light included.â•›.â•›.â•›. Until Haiti spoke, the church was silent, and the pulpit was dumb.”47 Douglass described Haiti’s “spirit of Freedom, which a sanguinary and ambitious despot could not crush or extinguish.”48 From Douglass’s time to ours, events in Haiti have continued to inspire African American responses in various genres, including journalism, oratory, music, and poetry. Far from fading, the Haitian Revolution has remained significant and has taken on new meanings during the twentieth century, as contemporary events unfolded. From the response of the NAACP to the American occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934, through the poetry of Langston

20  •  Jackson and Bacon Hughes and the art of the painter Jacob Lawrence, to the personal connection felt with Toussaint L’Ouverture by Ntozake Shange’s protagonist in the 1975 play For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, many African Americans have been inspired by Haiti’s history to create responses that link past and present, providing inspiration as well as spurring continuing activism for contemporary Haitians and for people of color throughout the world.49 These projects continue today. In a 2008 interview, the actor and activist Danny Glover described the revolution – the subject of his current film project – in terms reminiscent of Douglass’s about the significance and impact of the revolution for all black people, the transcendent nature of the Haitian struggle for liberty, and the influence of the revolution on the realization of true freedom for all people: Toussaint led the only successful slave rebellion in history.â•›.â•›.â•›. It’s an amazing story in part because it rounds out what we know about the United States and French Revolutions. The United States revolution brought us the Declaration of Independence, the French, the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The Haitian Revolution represents the third leg: universalizing these principles to all men – not just privileged, landed, wealthy men of European ancestry. In terms of world historical movements and revolutions, it was actually the most important of the three because it extended the ideals enshrined in the American and French Revolutionsâ•›.â•›.â•›. A critically important question for African-Â�Americans is, “Why has this monumental achievement been so erased from our history and from our consciousness?”50 Glover’s work memorializing the revolution seeks to remedy this erasure and follows in the tradition of those African American writers and speakers featured in this book, as well as we scholars who seek to better understand what the enduring and evolving representations of the Haitian Revolution mean for us today. Notes ╇ 1 James, Black Jacobins, ix. ╇ 2 This history draws from the following sources: James, Black Jacobins; Dubois, Avengers; Dixon, African America; Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers; Matthewson, Proslavery Foreign Policy; Montague, Haiti; Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies; Brown, Toussaint’s Clause; Ott, Haitian Revolution; Pamphile, Haitians; Logan, Diplomatic; Nicholls, From Dessalines; Alderson, “Charleston’s Rumored Slave Revolt,” 104; Tise, American Counterrevolution, 217–19; Popkin, Facing Racial Revolution; McFeely, Frederick Douglass, 334–58; Levine, Dislocating Race, 228–36; Himelhoch, “Frederick Douglass”; Douglass, “Haïti and the United States .â•›.â•›. I”; Douglass, “Haïti and the United States .â•›.â•›. II”; Scherr, “Uncovering”; Bill Fletcher, Jr., “The Haitian Coup: An Unresolved Injustice After Five Years,” Chicago Defender, March 4–10, 2009; Dupuy, Prophet. This history is necessarily brief, intended to prepare the reader for the following chapters; the essays and documents offer further details and descriptions that round out the picture.

Fever and Fret  •  21 ╇ 3 As Laurent Dubois notes, “it is difficult to know whether Bonaparte intended to reestablish slavery in Saint-Â�Domingue when he dispatched the Leclerc expedition”; by 1802, though, after resistance from Toussaint, he publicly resolved to do so (Avengers, 259). ╇ 4 In April 1869, President Grant appointed Ebenezer D. Bassett, a black man from New Haven, Connecticut, to be the minister to Haiti. In support of the appointment, Douglass wrote an article for the New National Era on September 15, 1870: “Mr. Bassett is the first colored man appointed by the American Government to any foreign missions. His appointment was a national event – a marked and striking manifestation for the radical change of American sentiment and policy wrought out by the successful suppression of a slaveholding rebellion.” ╇ 5 Douglass’s position on the Commission was controversial; his supporters, especially those who endorsed full Haitian independence, viewed his seeming support for the United States’ intent to annex the island as a retreat from the principles of liberty and independence for Haiti (see Pitre, “Frederick Douglass,” 390). Douglass took the opposite view of his previous support for the independence of Haiti and other Caribbean countries, which placed him at odds with his white friends the abolitionists Charles Sumner and Wendell Phillips, who opposed the annexation. ╇ 6 Douglass, “Haïti and the United States .â•›.â•›. II,” 453–4; Douglass, Life and Times [1892], 752. ╇ 7 Aristide, Interview; US House, To Establish; Jenson, “From the Kidnapping(s),” 173–4. ╇ 8 James Monroe to General Matthews, March 17, 1802, Executive Letterbook, quoted in Egerton, Gabriel’s Rebellion, 169; Egerton, Gabriel’s Rebellion, 48; Oates, Fires of Jubilee, 16. ╇ 9 Frey, Water from the Rock, 231; Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 114; “Republic of Hayti,” Genius of Universal Emancipation, March 1822. 10 Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 119–20; Dixon, African America, 29; Alderson, “Charleston’s,” 105; Fordham, “Nineteenth-Â�Century Black Thought,” 118–20. A debate currently rages among historians about whether or not there was a conspiracy led by Vesey, since black testimony coerced by whites must be examined critically and not necessarily taken at face value. While the particulars are of course beyond our scope, we note the comments of David Brion Davis, who highlights the flaws in the anti-Â�conspiracy view and who attributes “all probability” to the conspiracy (Inhuman, 222). In any event, and most germane to our argument, we agree with James Sidbury that whatever the particulars, the records of the conspiracy are “not useless for those interested in African American cultural history” and that they “are an uncommonly rich source for understanding the perceptions of black Charlestonians,” including the role of Haiti in their thinking about resistance (“Plausible Stories,” 182–3). 11 Fordham, “Nineteenth-Â�Century Black Thought,” 120. 12 Berlin, “After Nat Turner,” 145–7. 13 For a succinct look at the rhetoric of blacks surrounding these events, see Fordham, “NineteenthÂ�Century Black Thought.” 14 Rothman, Slave Country, 21. 15 Ibid., 104. Rothman adds, “The presence of such men troubled local officials. Governor Â�Claiborne estimated that there were at least eight hundred free men of color capable of bearing arms in New Orleans in 1810” (105). 16 Nash, “Reverberations of Haiti,” 44. Nash estimated that “about 15,000 islanders, roughly two-Â� thirds white and one-Â�third black, reached American seaports” (45). 17 Scott, “Common Wind,” 274, 237. Scott shows that many thousands of blacks and whites arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, and other port cites in North America. 18 Nash, “Reverberations of Haiti,” 64–5. On July 4, 1804, white Philadelphians celebrated near Independence Hall. That evening “several hundred black Philadelphians, who had reasons not to commemorate the nation’s twenty-Â�eighth birthday during the day, celebrated Haitian independence.â•›.â•›.â•›. They elected officers and organized themselves into military formations” and marched through the streets (65). 19 Davis, “Impact,” 8. 20 The opposition of most antebellum African Americans to colonization, a plan favored by many white leaders and generally directed by whites, is well documented; see Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 21–3; Horton and Horton, In Hope, 179–81; Ripley et al., Black Abolitionist Papers, 3: 3–11; Quarles, Black Abolitionists, 3–8. Emigration to Haiti was received differently; as John Saillant explains, “emigration to Haiti was a free choice, orchestrated by American and Haitian blacks” (“Circular,” 486). Still, in general, Haiti served as a symbol of the possibilities rather than as a mecca. A statement offered in Philadelphia in 1817 by James Forten and Russell Parrott seems to sum up the thinking of most free African Americans: “We will never separate ourselves voluntarily

22  •  Jackson and Bacon

21

22 23 24 25

26

27 28

29

30 31 32

33 34 35 36

37

38

from the slave population of the country; they are our brethren by the ties of consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrong” (quoted in Garrison, Thoughts, 9). According to Floyd Miller, Haitian Secretary General Joseph Balthazar Inginac wrote more than a decade after Haitïs independence “to urge blacks in New York City to immigrate to his country.” Inginac told the New York blacks that they “will find but little difference in our manner of living from that of the place they shall leave.” He told blacks that Christophe “was willing to supply a vessel and an initial donation of $25,000 to help defray the expenses of the venture.” Miller, Search, 75. Winch, Gentleman of Color, 50. Quoted in Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 314–15. Hinks, To Awaken, 101. The Appeal, which addressed ten major themes and demands, must be considered one of the first Black Nationalist statements, along with Robert Alexander Young’s Ethiopian Manifesto, published earlier that year. Walker, David Walker’s Appeal, 23. Walker may have been influenced by Abraham Bishop of Connecticut, who in 1791 serialized three articles, titled “The Rights of Black Men,” on the events in Santo Domingo in his small Boston paper, the Argus. Matthewson, “Abraham Bishop.” Walker, David Walker’s Appeal, 58. Bell, Survey, 152. Bell writes that “in 1843 Maria Weston Chapman, an ardent antislavery worker, whose sense of fairness exceeded those of some of the other writers of the day, indicated that between 7,000 and 8,000 had immigrated to that island kingdom, and that some people placed the estimates as high as 13,000” (128–9). The figures came from the Liberator of September 1, 1843. Except for a burst of activity in the early 1840s, there does not appear to have been support for immigration to Haiti among the convention delegates. Bethel surmises that “African Americans continued to emigrate to Hayti through the antebellum period, their numbers rising and falling with the country’s internal political stability”(Roots, 165). Pease and Pease, They Who Would Be Free, 275. See also Sanneh, Abolitionists Abroad, chap. 5. “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” Freedom’s Journal, May 4, 1827. John Browne Russwurm, “The Condition and Prospects of Hayti,” commencement address given at Bowdoin College, Class Records (1826), Bowdoin College Archives, Brunswick, Maine. Portions of the speech were published in the Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine), September 12, 1826, and in the Boston Courier, September 14, 1826. Wilder, In the Company, 150–1. James McCune Smith, “The Haytian Revolution,” Colored American, October 16, 1841. North Star, February 18, 1848. North Star, June 13, 1850. The play, or “dramatic poem,” was written in 1840 and was staged in London and Paris. When the citizens of Paris, under the leadership of the socialist leader Louis Blanc, marched on Parliament and deposed the monarchy of Louis-Â�Philippe, Lamartine was named head of the Provisional Government. As foreign minister, he issued the proclamation declaring freedom to all slaves in French territory. Raynal, Philosophical, 5: 309; Maria Stewart, “Address at the African Mason Hall,” February 27, 1833, in Productions, 64. Guillaume-Â�Thomas Raynal’s Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes was published in 1770, 1774, and 1781 (the latter a revised version, in which this quote appeared). Raynal corresponded with the Quaker antislavery pioneer Anthony Benezet, who often extracted sections of his work. Taking evidence from Montesquieu, Raynal believed that there “was nothing inherently inferior about Blacks and it was slavery that made them seem so.” In 1788 a group of Frenchmen formed the Société des Amis des Noirs. The leaders were Jacques-Â�Pierre Brissot de Warville, Abbé Henri Grégoire, Antoine de Condorcet, Marquis de Lafayette, Count Honoré de Mirabeau, and Abbé Emmanuel Sieyès. Lafayette had fought with the Patriots at Yorktown and had under his command future leaders of the Haitian revolution. Condorcet had written Réflexions sur l’esclavage des Nègres in 1781. Les Amis des Noirs advocated the immediate end of the slave trade and an end to slavery in all French possessions. At their March 13, 1788, meeting, Brissot, in urging international unity of action against slavery, gave a presentation about the work of Benezet, whom the society “venerated,” and translated his work. Dorigny and Gainot, La Société, 94, 187, 243n443, 275n552, 294–5. Brown, Black Man, 99, 105.

Fever and Fret  •  23 39 Holly, Vindication, 30. 40 Holly, Vindication, 6–7, 9. Holly added, “These same colonists who had been so loud in the hurrahs for the Rights of Man, now ceased their clamors for liberty .â•›.â•›. and sullenly resolved ‘to die rather than share equal political rights with a bastard race’â•›” (10). 41 Holly, Vindication, 31. 42 Quoted in Zuckerman, Almost Chosen, 204. 43 Bell, “Negro Emigration Movement.” 44 Foner and Walker, Proceedings .â•›.â•›. 1840–1865, 2: 219. 45 Foner and Walker, Proceedings .â•›.â•›. 1865–1900, 181. 46 Simmons, Men of Mark, 938. 47 Frederick Douglass, Lecture on Haiti, 7, 35–6. This speech, as well as a complementary one given the same day, will be discussed in detail in Glen McClish’s chapter in this volume. 48 Frederick Douglass, letter to Horace Greeley, Liberator, June 26, 1846. 49 These responses and others will be discussed in detail in Maurice Jackson’s chapter in this volume. 50 Glover, “We’re in This Together,” 41.

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Afro-Â�American Sailors and The International Communication Network The Case of Newport Bowers Julius S. Scott In 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence, as the last of the Wars of Independence in Spanish America and Brazil drew to a close, the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s Political Essay on the Island of Cuba appeared in print for the first time. As part of a French mission to gather scientific and demographic data in the Spanish colonies, Humboldt had travelled extensively in the Americas between 1799 and 1804. In addition to a brief visit to Cuba, his voyage included exploring such varied regions as the Caribbean coast of South America, the banks of the Orinoco, and the silver mines and ancient cities of New Spain. Of course, important changes had taken place between the time of the Baron’s American sojourn and the publication of the Political Essay twenty-Â�five years later. Humboldt had witnessed one of the most profound of these changes in progress in the Caribbean of the late 1790s, when the revolution of slaves in the French colony of Saint-Â�Domingue formed “the centre of the great politician agitations” which “threatened to involve the other islands” during Humboldt’s stay in Cuba, and finally resulted in the independence of Haiti – and freedom for Africans in what had been the hemisphere’s most productive and profitable slave economy – the year of his return to Europe.1 The Haitian Revolution and the other anti-Â�colonial struggles of the half-Â�century leading up to 1826 had weakened considerably Europe’s political foothold in the hemisphere, enabling the outsider Humboldt to discern the outlines of a more appropriate social geography for the region, one which emphasized shared historical experience, commonalities of demography and economy, and maritime connections over imperial boundaries. In the opening pages of the Political Essay, Humboldt situates Cuba among its neighbors, drawing a striking portrait of regional integration. The island’s long coastline, for example, provided easy access to Florida and the southern United States, to the adjacent islands of Jamaica and Hispaniola, to Puerto Rico and the eastern Caribbean archipelago lying beyond, to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and This chapter was previously published in Jack Tar in History: Essays in the History of Maritime Life and Labour, edited by Colin Howell and Richard J. Twomey, Acadiensis Press, 1991, 37–52. Copyright © 1991 Acadiensis Press. Reprinted by permission of Acadiensis Press.

26  •  Scott Central America, even to the coast of the southern continent. Cuba’s proximity to so much of America “is worthy of the most mature consideration,” Humboldt argued, “for these countries (Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and the southern portions of the United States, from Louisiana to Virginia), distant but a few days’ sail from each other, contain nearly two million eight hundred thousand Africans.” Recent trends suggested to Humboldt, ten years before Emancipation in the British islands and almost a generation before 1848, that the region’s “political preponderance will pass into the hands of that class which holds the power of labor.” Such a development, Humboldt conjectured, could result in a new and potentially powerful political configuration, perhaps taking the form of an “African Confederation of the Free States of the Antilles.”2 A considerable volume of scholarship has focused on parts of the broad area stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to the Bay of All Saints, a region which might be called the “greater Caribbean” or “Afro-Â�America,” during the period of slavery and emancipation. Very few of us, however, have adopted Humboldt’s regional viewpoint to examine the ways in which these slave societies interacted. Even as the plantation complex and its labor system came to dominate societies throughout the greater Caribbean, concentrating power in the hands of slaveholders and severely restricting the “other Caribbean” of traders, deserters, market women, runaway slaves who sought the mountains and “maritime maroons” who made their escape by sea, and, finally, sailors, whose access to networks of mobility placed them outside the plantation orbit.3 The juxtaposition of plantation society and maritime culture was always a particularly uneasy one. Whereas slavery and its regime demanded a fixed status and clear boundaries, ships and the sea came to symbolize, for many people, possibilities for mobility, escape, and freedom. Speaking from his long experience with young men sent out from Britain to work as overseers and bookkeepers on plantations in the West Indies, the manager of an Antigua estate “never knew a Boy, who had been at Sea, of any use on a Plantation.”4 Many owners of slaves encountered a similar situation. When Tom King, a Kingston slave “well-Â�known in this Town, Spanish-Â� Town, and Port Royal,” slipped away in November 1790, his owner warned that the crafty and worldly King, “having been at sea may attempt to pass for a Free Man.”5 Olaudah Equiano, whose insightful autobiography appeared in print just a year before Tom King’s escape, often heard whites warn that “it was a very dangerous thing to let a negro know navigation.” Equiano, who began working as a sailor aboard a dragger in Montserrat in the 1760s, grew to relish his occupation for several reasons. Though he remained legally enslaved, the enterprising African sailor discovered that his job enabled him to become “master of a few pounds” by doing some trading on his own account, and it gave him the ability to barter his labor to the highest bidder like a “free” worker. Like Tom King and countless others, Equiano used his access to the sea to buttress his refusal to “be imposed upon as other negroes were” in the short run, and he foresaw that “a knowledge of navigation” might eventually provide his route to

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  27 liberation. Finally, Equiano was quick to recognize that travel by sea granted welcome psychological space as well as advantages of education and perspective. As he became accustomed to moving from island to island and even traveling from the Caribbean to port cities in North America, Equiano came to “[rejoice] at the thought of seeing any other country”; more than any other occupation, he realized, seafaring satisfied his yearning “to lose sight of the West Indies” on occasion. During the 1760s, he not only acquired knowledge of the people and places in islands adjacent to his own, but he established close personal contacts in Savannah, witnessed demonstrations over the repeal of the Stamp Act on the battery in Charleston, and heard George Whitefield preach in Philadelphia.6 Like Tom King and Olaudah Equiano before him, Newport Bowers took a shipboard journey in 1793 in which the interrelated themes of escape, travel, and a broadening of horizons all apparently came into play. But who was Newport Bowers? Unfortunately, we know precious little about him. Though the contours of his life remain obscure, we can locate him in a place and time of crucial historical significance. Somehow, Bowers found himself in Cap Français, in revolutionary Saint-Â�Domingue, in the summer and fall of 1793, when events crucial to the history of that revolution (and equally important in the history of African-Â�Americans in this hemisphere) were taking place. Bowers left behind few records to help us reconstruct his world as he understood it – only a couple of scattered references among some obscure and long-forgotten ship’s papers, and his own testimony, signed with his mark, before the British vice-Â�admiralty court sitting at Kingston, Jamaica. Details of his motivations, values, and opinions are left to speculation and conjecture. We certainly need to know more about Newport Bowers, but this chapter argues that his experience in the revolutionary Caribbean of the early 1790s was neither coincidental nor isolated. Rather, it suggests that Bowers may be symbolic of a generation – an international generation – of mobile black observers for whom the revolution in Saint-Â� Domingue represented an opportunity to think about, define, and test the wider boundaries of Afro-Â�American life by – to quote Equiano – “losing sight” of where they lived and seeing “other countries.” Underlying all of this is the question of the role which Afro-Â�American mariners and others with access to the sea played as vectors of experience and information in regional networks of communication. Though Bowers’s sojourn aborted in tragedy, he, Tom King, and Equiano, each in his own way, attempted against long odds to use their position in order to bridge the worlds of slavery and freedom by connecting their experience with those who lived in other territories. During the eighteenth century, opportunities for Afro-Â�North Americans to test and stretch the boundaries of freedom upon the sea expanded markedly. Building upon the findings of such scholars as Lorenzo J. Greene and Rayford W. Logan, the recent work of Martha Putney, Michael Cohn and Michael Platzer, Gary Nash, and others has firmly established the integral presence and active role of African-Â�American mariners in all branches of North American maritime activity – in New England whalers, as pilots in the Chesapeake, in canoes

28  •  Scott navigating the tricky inlets of South Carolina, before the mast in deep-Â�water transatlantic schooners, below decks in naval brigantines.7 But significant changes which took place during the final decade of the eighteenth century intensified the black presence in port cities up and down the east coast. First, the generation after 1790 witnessed a substantial black migration toward the seaport towns. As far south as South Carolina, observers could echo the report of a Massachusetts resident who noted in 1795 that, since the recent abolition of slavery in that state, black residents had “generally .â•›.â•›. left the country, and resorted to the maritime towns.” Philadelphia’s black population swelled by almost 200 percent between 1790 and 1800; the black community of Baltimore grew from 1,600 to 5,600 over the same period. In Charleston, the number of free blacks tripled between 1790 and the time of the conspiracy of Denmark Vesey in 1822, and the unfree black population expanded significantly as well.8 This movement of population carried with it important consequences for the occupational structure of the black population, and it helped to shape social and institutional development in the post-Â�revolutionary period. In the North, many free black migrants naturally oriented themselves toward the Atlantic, finding work aboard vessels or in related occupations along the wharves.9 But even in the slave states, some unfree black laborers seemed to prefer, much as Equiano did, maritime employment. Seeking hired slave labor in Norfolk for public work projects, Virginia governor Richard Henry Lee discovered to his dismay in 1794 that “laborers cannot be got by the Public agents” because the black workers in the port felt that “working on board ships and about the wharves is more agreeable and less onerous.”10 This demographic shift occurred at a time when political events of considerable interest to black North Americans were happening in other quarters of the African diaspora, and being in port cities, the centers of exchange and information, enabled concerned observers to hear their reverberations. Often, news passed by word of mouth followed established routes of commerce. Blacks in Newport, Rhode Island, for example, followed with obvious interest and enthusiasm the progress of the British colony for ex-Â�slaves – some of them former residents of North America – in Sierra Leone, word of which arrived “from Africa, by way of the West Indies.”11 Black residents of urban ports also proved adept at tapping other sources of international news. In Charleston, where the avowedly republican City Gazette boasted in 1791 – the year the Haitian Revolution began – its ability to procure, within a month of their publication, “papers .â•›.â•›. from the French West Indian Islands” in order to “furnish our readers with some interesting extracts,” attentive residents were able to follow and monitor the unfolding revolution in the French Caribbean. Later, the editor of the Gazette discovered that slaves working in his office had long made a practice of taking for their own use as many as 200 copies of each issue for undisclosed purposes.12 Finally, inhabitants of port towns became accustomed to paying close attention to incoming shipping and, especially at times of heightened political tension, to reading every nuance given off by arriving sailors.

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  29 Sometimes, simply the arrival of a ship from abroad could spark rumors and uncontrolled discussion of political events. Immediately after the French envoy Edmond Genet, who had been active in abolitionist circles in Paris, arrived in Charleston aboard the heavily manned Ambuscade frigate in April 1793, for example, “a variety of speculations and conjectures on her destination and errand, fully occupied the public mind,” in the words of one observer. Ironically, in this case the very unwillingness of the French sailors to reveal what they were up to heightened the intensity of public discourse in the streets of the city: “the studied secrecy and reserve of the officers and men left sufficient room for the circulation of a number of reports, which were varied in rapid succession – lived their little hour, and then were heard no more.”13 American trading vessels moving in and out of the port cities provided another channel of information from abroad. As the French Revolution began to spread its influence to the French colonies in the Americas, ships from North American ports became instrumental in two senses. Not only did these vessels furnish flour, lumber, and other vital provisions to the islands during a period of severe trade depression in the French empire, but they also proved instrumental in disseminating news and accounts of events as they unfolded. In 1790, Yankee traders in Cap Français, the major port of Saint-Â�Domingue, reported “about fifty sail of American Vessels” in port with “others arriving daily,” and “a great number of Americans” at anchor a year later.14 A typical week in late 1790 saw ships from New London, Newburyport, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Hampton, Charleston, Salem, and Norfolk register at Port-Â�au-Prince, the colonial capital, and Cayes, on the southern coast, while vessels departed for Baltimore, New Bern, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.15 On September 9, 1791, the Polly returned to Charleston with news of a dramatic turn of events in Saint-Â�Domingue: on the night of August 22, slaves in the rich northern plain had risen in concert, destroying plantations, burning cane fields, and mercilessly attacking surprised slaveholders, overseers, and their families. Everywhere they docked, North American merchantmen headed for their home ports furnished a great deal of valuable information to local authorities, and presumably to other interested inhabitants. Their vivid and detailed reports strongly suggest that captains and crews alike realized that they had witnessed history in the making. Over a period of eight weeks in the late summer and fall of 1791, for instance, captain John Davison of the Charming Sally watched battles between black insurgents and government troops in both Cap Français and Port-Â�au-Prince. Testifying before Spanish officials in Cuba en route to Charleston, Davison recounted one example of the rebels exercising their newly acquired military power, having seen a delegation of armed charges enter the capital “demanding the freedom of Man otherwise they would lay the town in ashes.” Other ships headed to other ports carried similarly astonishing accounts, and barely a month after the initial uprising in Saint-Â�Domingue’s northern plain, newspapers from New England to South Carolina carried lengthy and lurid tales of the beginnings of the Haitian Revolution. By the end of the

30  •  Scott year, residents of all the major seaboard cities of the United States were breathlessly aware of official estimates that placed the number of white casualties at 2,000 and had heard or read reports that rebel attacks had destroyed 180 sugar plantations and more than 900 other estates specializing in coffee, cotton, and indigo production.16 And this was only the beginning. The Caribbean revolution reached a major turning point in the early summer of 1793, when the beleaguered French commissioners in the colony, their problems with internal black insurgency compounded by invasions from their British and Spanish enemies, promised freedom to all slaves who rallied to fight under the banner of the French republic. Soon black rebels entered Cap Français, precipitating a mass exodus from Saint-Â� Domingue. Beginning in late June, thousands of people of all descriptions – planters, slaves, and free people of color – boarded North American and other vessels destined for ports all over America, where they recounted the events leading to the rebel victory at the Cap. Some 10,000 emigrants departed on the morning of June 22, alone. Historians of the 1793 emigration from Saint-Â� Domingue have tended to write as if only whites were involved in the exodus, but considerable evidence suggests a very different conclusion. One French official who witnessed a typical scene of desperation, bustle, and confusion as one wave of refugees scrambled aboard the available shipping commented upon the mixed “quantity of whites, yellows, and blacks who took benefit of this little Flotilla to quit the Cape.”17 Visual and dramatic, the sudden arrival of thousands of refugees from the black revolution in Saint-Â�Domingue sharpened the interest in Caribbean affairs which had been growing since the rebellion first began. More than 10,000 refugees had disembarked in New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, New Orleans, and other cities by the end of July, many of them coming literally with only the clothes on their backs, many of them wounded, others sick from the voyage. Residents of the host cities – both black and white – reacted immediately and strongly to the presence of the refugees. To take just one example, one can only imagine the tumult which the sudden appearance in early July at Hampton Roads, Virginia – the port of the new nation’s largest slave state – of 137 merchant ships escorted by a heavily armed convoy of French warships must have precipitated. The first wave of ships had barely pulled into port before local officials complained that Norfolk was “crowded with Frenchmen,” adding that “too many negroes have been brought in with them.” Within weeks, a white observer from neighboring Port of Fork reported that local slaves had begun deserting plantations, demanding “privileges” of their owners, and in general behaving “in an insolent manner.” Such instances of black defiance had become “almost a common talk on the Court Green, particularly since the arrival of the French from C[ap] F[rançais].”18 And what of Baltimore, whose population contained what was likely the highest percentage of black residents – including free people, ex-Â�slaves, and numbers of self-Â�liberated immigrants from surrounding slave states – of any major city in the

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  31 country in 1790? In a two-Â�week period beginning July 10, fifty-Â�three ships landed with about 1,000 whites and 500 people of color from Saint-Â�Domingue aboard. Just as in tidewater Virginia, the presence of the refugees occasioned what a city council resolution of November 1793 called “reasonable fears” among white inhabitants of Baltimore “for their peace and tranquillity,” and town magistrates applied for and were granted “public arms” for the use of volunteer militia units.19 By the time this resolution was taken, however, Newport Bowers, who was apparently living in Baltimore at the time the first refugees arrived in July, had become so curious about the country they left behind that he had decided to see it for himself. Who was Newport Bowers? Even his name suggests that Newport was part of the generation of Afro-Â�North Americans which gravitated toward the port towns in the period following the American Revolution. Born free in Massachusetts, Bowers probably made his living as many of his contemporaries did – as a sailor or tradesman of some sort in the district of Baltimore’s wharves.20 Testifying before British admiralty officials in December 1793, Bowers affirmed that it was precisely at the time of the arrival of the contingent from Cap Français that he shipped in the opposite direction to visit the Cap. What moved Newport, an English-Â�speaking native of New England, to make the two- to three-Â�week passage to Saint-Â�Domingue? As he watched the once prosperous and powerful white refugees disembark, their world turned upside down, had he detected an opportunity to create a new life? Or had he heard accounts of the revolution from nonwhite immigrants? Did he envision participating in a revolution which rekindled the hope and promise left unfulfilled by the American Revolution? Or, remembering that just months before, the United States Congress had imperiled the security of free blacks by passing its first fugitive slave act,21 had Newport simply resolved to take this opportunity to “lose sight” of this slaveholding republic and see “any other country” where slavery might be abolished? Perhaps his decision had an economic dimension. According to one report, the earliest boatloads of refugees landing at Baltimore included a wide range of the people known as “mechanics” in the eighteenth century – “butchers, bakers, house carpenters, painters and glaziers, cabinetmakers, coopers, shoe makers, saddlers and harness makers, taylors, comb makers, barbers, silversmiths and watch makers, printers, etc.”22 Having witnessed their arrival, Bowers may have sensed an opportunity to fill the economic niche left vacant by the exodus. Whatever his motivation, upon his arrival in July 1793, Bowers found himself in a situation which was unprecedented in the history of the hemisphere. Little remained of the ancien régime, but a new society had just begun to take shape. Confusion, dislocation, and ambiguity certainly abounded, as during all periods of violent revolutionary change, but for those people who could look beyond these things to understand the broader meaning, the liberating implications of the slaves’ rebellion (especially those like Bowers who chafed under the restrictions of slave societies elsewhere), the scene must have proven intoxicating. During a residence of some six months, Bowers was privileged to witness

32  •  Scott firsthand a process which blacks throughout the new world had dreamed about for centuries – the gradual unfolding of freedom from the ashes of slavery following the rebel victories at the Cap. He watched as those remaining in the colony – black, brown, and white – struggled to bring into being a new society. Bowers was present in August 1793 when commissioner Léger Félecité Sonthonax went beyond his earlier declaration promising freedom in return for military service, decreed “general liberty” for all slaves in areas under French control, and extended them French citizenship – the first such emancipation proclamation in the Americas. Through September and October, legal “freedom” was extended to include Africans in the West and the South, everywhere accompanied by joyous festivals and solemn commemorations. Seventy years before the Civil War, Bowers saw the freed people beginning to test the terms of their freedom in ways which North Americans of that later generation would appreciate. On the other hand, problems accompanied the prospects, heightening the drama. Many of the rebels realized, like Toussaint Louverture, that the freedom granted by the commissioners was largely a function of military necessity and therefore fragile, and it would not become meaningful until ratified by the National Convention in Paris. In addition to the legions of rebel ex-Â�slaves who remained justifiably unconvinced by the proclamations of general liberty, the fragile colony desperately tried to protect its borders from British and Spanish invaders, whose plans for Saint-Â�Domingue certainly did not include the abolition of slavery. Internally, fierce debate centered on the question of what freedom was going to mean once officials moved to rebuild the colony’s economy.23 While all of this swirled about him, Bowers settled into what was likely a familiar role, establishing a “store” in the wharf district of Cap Français. Apparently Newport acted as a kind of middleman between the crews of incoming merchant vessels and local people who had produce or other articles to trade. As many of those ships brought goods from the United States, Newport’s North American background would have conferred certain advantages, but one can also imagine that the range of his contacts became truly international. Our knowledge of Saint-Â�Domingue’s commerce during the Revolution remains fragmentary, but scattered, tantalizing bits of evidence suggest that black mariners from all parts of the “greater Caribbean” played highly visible and active parts in Saint-Â�Domingue both during the time of Bowers’s residence there, but also later. Bowers must have encountered, for example, some of the proverbial “brown men from Curaçao” who appear so frequently in the crew lists of vessels trading to Saint-Â�Domingue in the mid-Â�1790s. Curiously, many of the black and brown mariners who claimed the Dutch island as their home spoke Spanish, like Juan Domingo and Juan Francisco, shipmates who sailed aboard a French privateer. Others, like Barbados-Â� born Michael Brown, who arrived aboard a merchant ship, spoke English. Two years after Bowers visited Saint-Â�Domingue, slave rebels in Curaçao attempted to replicate the successes of the revolutionaries in the French colony. Black parents had taken to naming their children Toussaint, and two key leaders of the revolt of 1795 took on the names “Toussaint” and “Rigaud” as well. Just as black migrants

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  33 from Saint-Â�Domingue apparently touched off a wave of slave rebelliousness in Virginia in 1793, it is also possible that this pool of multilingual sailors with their international connections communicated their detailed knowledge of the course of the Haitian Revolution to enslaved Africans in Curaçao.24 Naturally, such a revolution acted as a kind of magnet, drawing the interest and even the participation of people whose mobility allowed them to consider the possibility of travelling to Saint-Â�Domingue. At least two Jamaica sailors, free men of color, felt so strongly attracted to the adjacent island to the east that they assumed the risk of open defiance of maritime authorities in order to try to make Saint-Â�Domingue. In May 1792, before Bowers’s trip, one seaman “said to be employed in a small vessel that trades from Port-Â�Royal to Hispaniola” attacked the naval officer who refused him clearance, presumably for Saint-Â�Domingue. Bowers was in Cap Français in August of the following year when another brown seaman aboard a schooner bound for Curaçao murdered his captain at sea, “took command of the vessel, and ran her into the French port of St. Domingo.”25 However, for others, there was more – or less – than politics at issue in their decision. If economic considerations beckoned Newport Bowers, they also may have motivated some white merchants and shipowners by 1793 to utilize black seamen in their trade to areas where rebel forces had made inroads. Michael Brown, the Barbados native from Curaçao, reported in June 1793 that when his vessel anchored in St. Thomas before proceeding to Cap Français, the ship’s supercargo convinced the captain to discharge most of the crew “because they were white People” and “to take on board black free Men who could speak English.”26 On the other hand, Nicolás Manuel, a card-Â�carrying Danish subject residing in St. Thomas, spoke Spanish, yet he also discovered that the revolution in Saint-Â�Domingue presented opportunities which may not have previously existed. This black ship’s master, with all-Â�black crews, made repeated trading voyages to Saint-Â�Domingue between 1796 and 1799 for various owners, and he was not deterred by having his vessels seized and condemned on several occasions by British privateers.27 But the opportunities for black sailors opened up by the French Revolution in the Caribbean were political as well as economic, and again suggest a crucial international dimension. Consider, for example, the privateers sailing under the tricolored flag of the French Republic which began cruising against British and Spanish shipping from ports in Saint-Â�Domingue (and ports in other French islands) in 1793. The crew lists of these French privateers often register large numbers of blacks aboard, and repeated references to black sailors appear in both British and Spanish documents. One notoriously menacing “republican corsair” which operated near Cuba was even commanded by a free man of color.28 Actions undertaken by such vessels often encompassed more than simply preying on enemy shipping. In one case, a French ship seized a Spanish sloop headed from Jamaica to eastern Cuba with a cargo of sixty-Â�eight re-Â�exported Africans for sale. After freeing the captives, the crew tossed the sloop’s sailors overboard for good measure.29

34  •  Scott Spanish officials complained that these vessels not only attacked ships in open seas, but that they also made unauthorized visits ashore all over the Spanish Caribbean. These republican crews created mischief when they landed, raiding plantations near the coast for provisions and livestock, and sometimes plantation workers accompanied them back to their vessels. Trinidad’s governor, José María Chacón, observed that the activities of French corsairs, with their mixed crews, exercised a profound impact upon local slaves. When they came into contact with each other, he reported (apparently to officials who discounted their ability to communicate), “their conversations and discussions, although unsophisticated, are not so much so that they are not effective in perverting the ideas of our [slaves],” whose actions provide some evidence of the content of those conversations. Chacón noted that black victims of these French “kidnappers” frequently turned out to be people who intentionally directed their canoes toward the privateers, where they knew they would be “received and protected.”30 By the time Newport Bowers was living in Saint-Â�Domingue, fellow Afro-Â�North Americans had already begun entering such privateers – though it is difficult to determine the precise conditions under which they served. By 1795, as Chacón worked to counteract the subversive influence of black sailors in his quarter of the Caribbean, blacks listing their residences as Charleston, Savannah, and New York could be found alongside “frenchmen” of all descriptions manning French cruisers off the coast of Saint-Â�Domingue.31 Clearly, Newport Bowers had entered the Caribbean at a most interesting time, but further research is needed to sketch out the still shadowy circum-Â�Caribbean black maritime underground. As for Bowers, his immersion in the revolutionary world of the late-Â� eighteenth-century Caribbean did not preclude his retaining ties with the United States. As already suggested, many black North Americans traveled different routes to converge upon Saint-Â�Domingue in the 1790s. William Johnson of Philadelphia arrived at Cap Français in July 1793, about the same time as Bowers, as a cook aboard the Rising Sun, a Philadelphia vessel hired by two French emigré merchants in that city who had ties to Sonthonax. Another black cook from Richmond shipped aboard the Nancy, which made at least three voyages to SaintÂ�Domingue between 1792 and 1793.32 It is even possible that Bowers chanced upon old friends from Baltimore while in Cap Français. In mid-Â�October 1793, for instance, the Apollo arrived from Baltimore with a crew of nine, including “two black .â•›.â•›. foremastmen, [and] one Mulatto Man a Cook” who had shipped when the voyage originated in the Chesapeake. During a stay of three months, the crew, reminiscent of Equiano, traded “private adventures” on their own accounts. While he waited in Cap’s harbour to put together a return cargo, the captain of the Apollo placed various “articles of Produce” aboard still another Baltimore vessel, the Juno, which made ready to return home and whose crew, incidentally, included a cook described as “a black man .â•›.â•›. born upon the coast of Africa.”33 As the captain was completing his transaction, Newport Bowers was making arrangements to travel back to the United States aboard that same vessel. Why Bowers chose to depart Saint-Â�Domingue remains, like most of the rest of

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  35 his life, a mystery. Equally murky are the details of what happened to Bowers and why on December 4, 1793, the day the Juno departed on its ill-Â�fated voyage north. As the vessel was about to weigh anchor, Newport’s friend Bridgewater, another English-Â�speaking black resident of the Cap later described as an “Englishman” by crew members of the Juno, paddled a canoe out to the vessel. Newport was aboard the canoe, but he was not alone. Six other black passengers, all of them French-Â�speaking residents of Saint-Â�Domingue, accompanied him. Bowers and his associates had elected to venture outward from their precarious enclave of freedom back into the world of slavery and slave trading, and they would soon discover how hazardous that world remained even as the ex-Â�slaves of Saint-Â�Domingue struggled to liberate themselves. Newport Bowers was headed home, but white members of the Juno’s crew had other plans. They intended to stop over at Havana, Cuba, and sell the “French Negroes” (and most likely Bowers as well) for an easy profit. But a British privateer intercepted the Juno just after the vessel got underway and brought her into Jamaica as a prize of war, foiling Bowers’s design as well as that of the crew. During the subsequent trial before the British Vice-Â�Admiralty Court in Kingston, Bowers provided the only clue that we have to his consciousness. In his brief testimony, Bowers challenged the Europeans and Americans contending for power in the region and working to contain the influence of the Haitian Revolution. Though the United States, Britain, Spain, and even France refused to recognize the freedom which the ex-Â�slaves of Saint-Â�Domingue had attained at so heavy a cost and could only see black people as articles to be bought and sold, Bowers affirmed his own freedom and testified that his companions were “people who had been given free by the Commissary and who had agreed to go with him to America” and described them as “free Negroes and not the property of any Person on board.” In effect, Bowers was not only defending the freedom of his six friends, but he was also vindicating the larger achievement of the revolution of Saint-Â�Domingue in the face of massive opposition. This remarkable example of solidarity between an English-Â�speaking black maritime worker and French-Â� speaking blacks involved in a struggle for liberation was repeated two years later across the Atlantic, when “a poor Negro, from on board one of His Majesty’s Ships lately returned from the West Indies” approached British abolitionist Granville Sharp with stories of how the British navy in the Caribbean routinely violated international law by selling as slaves free black and brown sailors taken off French ships instead of treating them as prisoners of war.34 Just as Sharp and his black sailor-Â�informant would discover, such protestations proved futile. Finding in favor of the captors of the Juno, the vice-Â� admiralty court sold the “French Negroes” for its account and ordered Bowers to the Kingston workhouse, the place of confinement for runaway slaves and other black dissidents. The following March, a public auction quietly sold off “Sundry old Cloathes belonging to Newport, who died in the Workhouse.”35 Newport Bowers’s tragic death in a Jamaican prison stands as a sobering reminder that, even on the seas, black life in the eighteenth century remained

36  •  Scott severely circumscribed by the politics of slavery and colonialism in the New World. Nevertheless, the related stories of Tom King, Olaudah Equiano, and Newport Bowers, living and working in distant areas of Afro-Â�America, merit serious consideration for a number of reasons. First, the attraction of Saint-Â� Domingue for Bowers, Bridgewater, Nicholás Manuel, Michael Brown, and countless other mobile blacks in the 1790s reflects the region-Â�wide impact which the Haitian Revolution exerted from the Chesapeake Bay to the Bay of All Saints. While historians agree that every American slave society felt the repercussions of the revolution in Saint-Â�Domingue in the 1790s, they have just begun to explore the question of precisely how its influence spread. Part of the answer may lie within the experience of black seamen and the generation of mobile observers who passed on their observations along the routes which they travelled. Secondly, Bowers’s adventure foreshadows important developments in nineteenth-Â�century Afro-Â�North American history. Not only was Newport a precursor of the Haitian emigration movement which began in the 1820s; his trip to Saint-Â�Domingue casts new light upon the background of another black traveller, Denmark Vesey, who, like Bowers, visited Saint-Â�Domingue and other territories aboard a trading vessel in the late eighteenth century. Later, Vesey’s circum-Â�Caribbean experience and outlook proved central in shaping his revolutionary program. Vesey and his lieutenants in Charleston followed events in independent Haiti, passing newspaper articles from hand to hand. At his trial, one co-Â�conspirator testified that Vesey “had the habit of reading to me all the passages in the newspapers that related to Santo Domingo.” Claiming to have corresponded through black cooks who worked the vessels trading between South Carolina and the black republic, Vesey promised his followers that the Haitians would come to their aid if only they would strike the initial blow for their freedom. In crushing the conspiracy, white South Carolinians quickly passed the infamous Negro Seaman Act of 1822 in order to keep foreign sailors of color from interacting and sharing information with local slaves and free blacks.36 Finally, reconstructing the world of the black sailor holds broader implications for the social and intellectual history of Africans in this hemisphere. Who was Newport Bowers? King, Equiano, and Bowers represent countless blacks who worked aboard vessels or frequented docksides and who made up an integral part of a widely ranging culture of the sea. Because of their position, Bowers and people like him may have played a pivotal if underappreciated role in nurturing – or keeping alive – a truly international, Afro-Â�Atlantic perspective, one which remained acutely conscious of the common threads tying together the African diaspora despite efforts to sever those bonds, one which linked, for example, the fortunes of blacks in revolutionary Haiti with those still enslaved in other American slave societies. This is a worthy tradition. It is left to historians of the black experience to uphold this perspective, both in our scholarship and in our politics.

The Case of Newport Bowers  •  37 Notes ╇ 1 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, 3: 199. ╇ 2 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Island of Cuba, 99, 186. ╇ 3 My ideas and terminology have been influenced by Fox, History, 7–18; and Hall, “Maritime Maroons,” 476–98. ╇ 4 Mainswete Walrond to Clement Tudway, April 23, 1783, Tudway Papers, DD/TD, box 11, bundle 4. I am indebted to my Duke colleague Barry Gaspar for bringing this material to my attention. ╇ 5 Kingston Daily Advertiser, February 4, 1791. ╇ 6 Equiano, Life of Olaudah Equiano, 137, 141–55. ╇ 7 Greene, Negro in Colonial New England, 114–17; Putney, Black Sailors; Cohn and Platzer, Black Men of the Sea; Nash, Forging Freedom, 134–8. See also Gilje, Road to Mobocracy, 147, 160, and Farr, “Black Odyssey.” For blacks in the early United States Navy, see Logan, “Negro in the Quasi-Â� War,” 128–32, 143, and Langley, “Negro in the Navy,” 273–86. ╇ 8 “Queries Respecting the Slavery,” 206; Du Bois, Philadelphia Negro, 17; Lee and Talli, “Population,” 33; Rogers, Charleston, 141. ╇ 9 See, for example, Nash, Forging Freedom, 148–50. 10 Richard Henry Lee to Mayor of Norfolk, n.d. [May–June 1794], Executive Letterbooks, Virginia State Library. 11 Samuel Hopkins to Granville Sharp, January 15, 1789, in Hoare, Memoirs, 340–2. 12 Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, February 12, 1791; Thomas, Reminiscences of the Last Sixty-Â�Five Years, 1: 77–8. 13 Richmond Virginia Gazette and Richmond and Manchester Advertiser, May 2, 1793. 14 Benjamin Bailey to Christopher Champlin, February 13, 1790, Samuel Lawton to Christopher and George Champlin, February 18, 1791, reprinted in Commerce of Rhode Island, 2: 409–10, 2: 432–3. 15 Affiches americaines (Port-Â�au-Prince), September 11, 1790. 16 Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, September 12, 1791; Luis de las Casas to Conde del Campo de Alange, La Habana, November 9, 1791, Las Casas to Ministro de Guerra, La Habana, February 8, 1792, Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla, Papeles de Cuba legajo 1486 (hereafter AGI, Papeles de Cuba, leg. 1486); Scott, “Common Wind,” 207–8. For details of the revolt itself, see James, Black Jacobins, 85–90; Ott, Haitian Revolution, 47–52; and Edwards, History, Civil and Commerical, 3: 83. 17 Stoddard, French Revolution, 220; “Treasure Paymaster of the Colony of St. Domingo to Bizouard his predecessor,” [Port Republicain], 8 [November] 1793, in papers of Rising Sun (1793), Papers of the Jamaica High Court of Vice-Â�Admiralty, Jamaica Archives, Spanish Town (hereafter JHCVA Papers, JA). 18 Norfolk Virginia Chronicle and Norfolk and Portsmouth General Advertiser, July 13, 1793; Thomas Newton to Governor, July 9, 1793, E. Langhan to Governor, August 9, 1793, in Palmer and McRae, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 6: 443, 6: 470. 19 Hartridge, “Refugees,” 103–7; Laws of Maryland. 20 Examination of Newport Bowers, December 16, 1793, in papers of Juno, JHCVA Papers, JA. The supposition that Bowers resided in Baltimore is based on his choice of a berth aboard a Balitmore-Â�bound vessel in order to return “home.” See below. 21 See Robinson, Slavery in the Structure, 285–6. 22 Charleston Columbian Herald, July 30, 1793. 23 The ambience of this period is ably conveyed in Stein, Leger Felicite Sonthonax, 79, 105. 24 Examinations of John Domingo and John Francisco, February 18, 1795, in papers of Le Flibustier (1795); examination of Michael Brown, n.d., in papers of Speedwell (1793), JHCVA Papers, JA. For accounts of the rebellion of 1795 in Curaçao, see Goslinga, Emancipatie en emancipator, 38–40, and Goslinga, Short History, 113–14. 25 Kingston Royal Gazette, May 19, 1792; August 3, 1793. 26 Examination of Michael Brown, n.d., in papers of Speedwell (1793), JHCVA Papers, JA. 27 For examples of Manuel’s persistence, see papers of Trimmer (1796), Mars (1798) and (possibly) De Kleine Haaig (1799), JHCVA Papers, JA. 28 Juan Nepomuceno de Quintana to Las Casas, July 29, 1796, Cuba, AGI, Papeles de Cuba, leg. 1435. 29 For this and other attacks against Spanish slavers, see Juan Baptista Vaillant to Diego de Gardoqui, Cuba, May 15 and 27, June 9, 1795. AGI, Seccion de Gobierno, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1263.

38  •  Scott 30 Jose María Chacón to Gardoqui, Trinidad, June 17, 1796, AGI Seccion de Indiferente General, leg. 1595; Chacón to Gabriel Aristizabal, Trinidad, December 29, 1795, AGI, Seccion de Gobierno, Audiencia de Caracas, leg. 153. 31 See the examination of John Barclay, February 23, 1795, and the handwritten “Role d’Equipage de la Goelette L’Adelaide,” n.d., in papers of L’Adelaide (1795), JHCVA Papers, JA. 32 Examinations of Peter Torris, November 25, 1793, and William Johnson [November 1793], in papers of Rising Sun (1793); examinations of David Crocker and Howland Powers, October 25, 1793, in papers of Nancy (1793), JHCVA Papers, JA. 33 Examinations of Charles Bowers, January 20, 1794, John Manning, January 23, 1794, and John Smith, January 24, 1794, in papers of Apollo (1794), JHCVA Papers, JA. 34 Granville Sharp to William Wilberforce, June 4, 1795, William Wilberforce Papers, Duke University Library. 35 See examinations of Bowers; George Parker and Robert Ellis, December 14, 1793; James Fuller, December 17, 1793; and the balance sheet dated May 25, 1795, in papers of Juno (1793), JHCVA Papers, JA. 36 Miller, Search for a Black Nationality, 74–82, 232–49; Lofton, Insurrection, 5–26, 73; Trial Record of Denmark Vesey, 28, 42, 68, 70–1, 88, 93, 117; confessions of Bacchus and John, n.d., William and Benjamin Hammet Papers, Duke University Library.

3

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism Northern African Americans’ Invocations of Haiti in the Early Nineteenth Century Sara C. Fanning The standard version of the genesis of American black nationalism rests on the white American Colonization Society’s (ACS) aggressive efforts from 1817 onwards to send African Americans to Africa. Many historians argue this exclusionary action pushed northern free blacks from identifying with Africa to identifying with the United States, because they realized a connection with America when confronted with de facto deportation.1 Certainly, the northern black community began replacing the formerly prevalent “African”2 moniker with “colored” or “black” in the wake of the ACS’s efforts in the late 1810s.3 This position, however, assumes that the embrace of America was an offshoot of the rejection of Africa, thereby missing another cultural and political force at work at this early stage in the black-Â�nationalist movement’s formation – namely, Haiti.4 Between 6,000 and 13,000 African Americans from throughout the northeastern United States migrated to Haiti in the 1820s, the largest migration of African Americans up to this point in time.5 Haiti had long appealed to northern free blacks as an independent nation that espoused republican values of citizenship, equality, and liberty; sought respect on the world stage; celebrated the blackness of its citizens; and publicly avowed black racial pride. The nation actively courted American free blacks, offering universal education, economic advancement, suffrage, religious freedom, and a society with a republican ideology. Black Americans’ identification with the free Republic of Haiti at the turn of the nineteenth century is obvious from demonstrations, speeches, parades, in the naming of institutions and, ultimately, in the mass emigration movement to the€island. Popular references to the Haitian Revolution reveal a consciousness of the island-Â�nation’s affairs from its inception.6 These invocations suggest the deep links between Haiti and the black-Â�nationalist project which embraced a black nation state rather than a return to Africa.7 Haiti, in many ways, was the black nation underpinning early American ideas of black nationalism.8 For African This chapter is excerpted from Sara C. Fanning, “The Roots of Early Black Nationalism: Northern African Americans’ Invocations of Haiti in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Slavery and Abolition 28.1 (April 2007): 61–5, 67–77, 79–85. Copyright © 2007 Taylor & Francis. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd., http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals.

40  •  Fanning Americans, Haiti was a model of black military power, a defender of racial rights, and a land that opened its arms to them. Much of the scholarly research on the intersection of Haiti and American blacks at this time looks from the Caribbean to the United States, rather than vice versa. One approach has been to trace influences of the Haitian Revolution on American slaves at this time.9 Scholars have linked the major slave rebellions of the era to the events in the Caribbean: Ponte Coupee Conspiracy (1795), Gabriel’s Conspiracy (1800), Charles Deslondes Revolt (1811), the Denmark Vesey Conspiracy (1822), and Nat Turner’s Rebellion (1831) have all been sounded out for echoes of the Black Jacobins.10 Historians have demonstrated how news carried by refugees fleeing the revolution and sailors engaged in the carrying trade between the island and the United States found its way to slave populations along the eastern seaboard.11 Eugene Genovese argues that by abolishing slavery and overthrowing the French army in a violent and protracted war from 1791 to 1804, the Haitian Revolution created a new era in which slaves “increasingly aimed not at secession from the dominant society but at joining in on equal terms.”12 The republican ideas brought forth and articulated – of equality and liberty for all – revolutionized the possibilities of life after freedom for slaves and for descendants of Africa throughout the world.13 I would extend this argument: when they fought for and won freedom from slavery, Haitians directly challenged ideas of white military supremacy and the notion that freed slaves and free people of color were incapable of sustaining independence. They changed the possibilities not only for militant slaves, as Genovese has posited, but for politicized free blacks.14 This propensity to focus on the antislavery legacy of the Haitian Revolution and its significance to the slave system has caused historians to overlook another group of descendants of Africa in the Americas – the growing free black population of the United States. The final chapter of the revolution, Haitian nationhood, was a radical precedent for this group, too. For free blacks, the establishment and progress of Haiti as an independent black nation marked a political and cultural milestone, just as the Haitian Revolution did for rebelling American slaves. Formerly, the only available form of advancement, or route to power, was secession from the western world of independent nation states and return to “primitive” Africa; Haiti represented a chance to compete in the same hemisphere as the western nations on an equal footing.15 Recently, historians have dismissed Haiti’s influence in the northern African-Â� American community’s social and cultural development.16 Haiti, they argue, had little to offer the project of black advancement because the revolution was too grotesquely violent a legacy for northern African Americans to embrace in political agitation against slavery. But for northern African Americans who were already free or in the process of negotiating their manumission, the Haitian Revolution went beyond the aegis of abolitionism. Many free black northerners observed the island republic with a sense of pride in its accomplishments, using

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  41 the island as a rallying cry in their own increasingly separatist causes. Some even finally joined the Haitians in the 1820s, seeking to bring the project of black nationalism to its full realization – a black nation state for all descendants of Africa.â•›.â•›.â•›. Newspapers were a major source of information for the African-Â�American community and they were filled with reports about Haiti and Haitian leaders. As Jeffrey Pasley asserts, newspaper content was widely circulated, because the papers were often read to large groups of people in taverns, coffee houses, oyster bars, dance clubs, and hotels.17 In these settings, news about Haiti would have passed to African Americans previously thought to have little exposure or opportunity to learn about Haiti. Public proclamations, discussion of prominent figures, description of the “progress” of the island, and the amount of trade made up primary subjects of discussion in the news reports of the island. Even reports that focused on trade offered accounts of Haiti’s government and current events as context. After the international stir created by its bloody birth, the world kept an eye on the island in the Caribbean. For many blacks and whites, St. Domingue/Haiti became a litmus-Â�test experiment for the capabilities of the African race. Haitians themselves saw their independence and nationhood as proof of “African regeneration,” of racial uplift, and of racial equality.18 Aware that their activities were under scrutiny and would affect their billing on the world stage of nationstates, Haitian leaders publicized the nation-Â�building progress to the “family of nations” in Europe and the United States and made extensive use of public forums in a decades-Â�long media campaign, which extended to newspapers that circulated among the African-Â�American community. Even before the declaration of Haitian nationhood, northern African Americans took an interest in the affairs of the island. The earliest surviving example comes from Prince Hall’s famous A Charge to African Masons delivered to his Boston African Masonic Lodge. The Lodge became the leading black community institution in Boston. It provided mutual aid – a form of cooperative insurance – as well as funerary services to its members. The Boston African Lodge later became the Grand Lodge of African Freemasonry that chartered branches in Providence, Philadelphia, and New York City. In A Charge, Hall identified himself and his audience strongly with the island of Haiti, foreshadowing black-Â�nationalist ideas of the common bonds of the African diaspora. In this address, Hall linked the struggle for racial uplift to the freedom struggles of Haitians in terms that imply his audience was familiar with the fortunes of the slaves in the Caribbean: My brethren, let us not be cast down under these and many other abuses we at present labour under: for the darkest is before the break of day. My brethren, let us remember what a dark day it was with our African brethren six years ago in the French West Indies. Nothing but the snap of the whip was heard from morning to eveningâ•›.â•›.â•›.19

42  •  Fanning Here Hall uses the uprising in St. Domingue to steel his fellow black Bostonians against the insults they were “daily met with in the streets of Boston.”20 He reminds his fellow Masons and his wider Boston audience (for his speeches were published) that not only could circumstances be worse, they could improve overnight, as was the case in St. Domingue. This codified message may have been a salve to a black community confronting an increasingly hostile Boston environment that had given them freedom from slavery but little else.21 The palpable connection with Haiti felt by some African Americans was soon expressed – loudly – in Philadelphia. Unlike Hall’s message, however, the Haitian lesson cited this time was one not of passive patience but of armed militancy. On at least one occasion in Philadelphia in 1804, African Americans responded to racist abuse in American streets with collective violence. During the July 4 celebration, in the same year Haiti declared its independence, a few hundred black Philadelphians gathered in the Southwark district, formed into military units, elected officers, and armed themselves with bludgeons to march through the city’s streets in a countercelebration of July 4. When a white person crossed their path they gave “rough treatment” to that person, according to one account. One unit even entered a household of white men and “pummeled” them. The next day, July 5, the marchers gathered again, “damning” any white person who came near them and declaring, “they would shew them St. Domingo.” By using St. Domingue as their rallying cry, these black Philadelphians showed that the Haitian Revolution had taken on an emblematic role for the nascent black-Â� nationalist movement.22 As Haiti developed from a state of upheaval to fully-Â�fledged sovereignty, its attractions for the free black community went beyond the symbolic to the material. Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines declared Haitian independence in 1804 and with the writing of the Haitian Constitution in 1805 created the first “black republic.” With an executive, legislative, and judicial branch, Haiti’s governmental forms resembled the United States’ system of governance – a fact that would not have been lost on African-Â�American observersâ•›.â•›.â•›.23 Few institutions from the colonial era survived into the national period.24 To move the society towards equality and liberty for all as the revolutionaries pledged, the first-Â�generation leaders – Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Pétion, and Henry Christophe – had to build institutions of their own, from scratch. In addition to the new governing system, institutions such as custom houses, schools, public presses, and the establishment of a national guard were part of the new leaders’ to-Â�do lists. For a black person of that period, this nation building must have appeared a particularly worthy and exciting enterprise. Christophe and Pétion framed nation building in terms of choice of governance, education as racial uplift, and independence from the great powers, making Haiti a political paragon and an attractive destination for African Americans frustrated with the United States.25 With their constitutions duly declared, Christophe and Pétion set about establishing the necessary components of nationhood and securing their hold on power. They both had to find trading partners, roll out institutions and

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  43 government structures, continue the land reforms proposed by Dessalines, and arm the country in preparation for a potential future French attack. Militarily, both leaders amassed standing armies and created navies – to defend themselves against foreign invasions and against each other. Despite seconding and reiterating the assurances made by Dessalines to foreign powers that Haiti had no desire in “making of conquests” or “troubling the peace and the internal regime of foreign colonies,” foreign powers continued to distrust the motives of Haitian leaders, especially when foreign sailors were actively recruited to man Haiti’s naval ships.26 In what could be described as the first black-Â�nationalist initiative, Haitians actively worked towards moving African Americans to Haiti for both political and economic reasons. American sailors were on the front lines of the recruiting efforts, which started in newspapers throughout the northern United States. Dessalines publicly offered American ship captains forty dollars for every African American they brought to Haiti. Realizing he needed to repopulate Haiti in the wake of wars that killed as much as a quarter of the island’s inhabitants, Dessalines believed an emigration scheme of blacks from the United States would be good for Haiti and its future. It would bolster Haiti’s population and secure skilled manpower and military personnel against a possible foreign invasion. Although no data suggests any African Americans were transported, Dessalines’ proposal suggests he held an expansive notion of Haiti’s national identity that encompassed other blacks from other countries.27 Dessalines offered to buy African slaves bound for Jamaica from British slavers to set them free.28 Following Dessalines’ example, Pétion and Christophe saw African Americans as a resource for populating the island, strengthening the economy, and manning its naval ships. Both made several efforts during their decade-Â�long battle for supremacy over the island to attract African American sailors to their shores and offered some favorable incentives. Christophe used his agent Joseph R. E. Bunel, formerly Louverture’s treasurer, to recruit sailors in Philadelphia and used both British and American sailors to sail his first ships. Pétion offered black sailors, whether British or American, citizenship if they moved to the island, on the condition that they served aboard his naval ships.29 Looking abroad for American sailors to man naval ships was both practical and ideological as enslaved and free African Americans were deeply involved in the maritime trade of the United States. As many as 750 black American seamen sailed to Haiti in one year alone, and a disproportionate number of these sailors came from northern cities, where maritime work employed more than 40 percent of male African-Â�American workers.30 American black sailors were suspected of manning Haitian ships to attack Spanish, French, and Portuguese slave ships engaged in clandestinely importing slaves from Africa into their South American and Caribbean colonies. American sailors served as sailors on some of Christophe’s first ships in the early 1810s. African Americans, it was believed by both white Americans and Haitian politicians since Dessalines, would pledge allegiance en masse to Haiti and its project of defending the rights of black people.

44  •  Fanning Black sailors were also crucial conduits of nascent black-Â�nationalist ideas, facilitating unmediated exchange of information with the island-Â�nation.31 When Paul Cuffee, son of the famous black sea captain of the same name, traveled to Haiti from Boston in 1812, he did so to trade in the lucrative Haitian market and to see for himself the Haitian republic. While in port, one of the sailors on board Cuffee’s ship marveled in his diary at a military procession led by General Jean Pierre Boyer. He wrote, “They appeared to understand military tactics to perfection. They were elegantly dressed in red frocks and trousers, faced with blue and green .â•›.â•›. On the whole they were first-Â�rate soldiers. Boyer was most superbly dressed and equipped, and on horseback made an elegant appearance.”32 Haiti was militaristic in its national consciousness, and this too was impressive to the African-Â�American audience who mounted military processions in their own public celebrations.33 These military ceremonies were often remarked upon by observers and would have peppered the news about the island that sailors passed onto landlubbers. In a widely circulated newspaper, Niles’ Weekly Register, a report of a parade celebrating the reelection of Pétion to president describes how “with grand military parade .â•›.â•›. 10,000 men in arms officiated on the occasion.”34 The militarized landscape of the two Haitis provided a sense of security to the Haitian people and may have impressed the black Americans. The thirteen-Â�year war against France, the repeated warfare between rival chiefs and would-Â�be leaders, as well as the persistent specter of French invasion contributed to this militaristic demeanor and were believed to be motivating forces in some African-Â�Americans’ desire to travel to Haiti. W. Jeffrey Bolster shows how black sailors benefited from Haitian policies. One policy that proved especially advantageous and doubtless stirred feelings of identification with the island among enslaved African-Â�American sailors was that of recognizing the freedom of all black people regardless of nationality. It is unclear how many sailors saw Haiti as a haven to obtain their freedom. They often used Haitian policy to improve their working conditions – captains complained that many black sailors deserted to find better ships to work on while in Haitian ports.35 African Americans who learned of the freedom afforded to black men would have looked upon the island-Â�nation as a land where liberty was available to them in deed as well as word. The net result was that Haiti gained a reputation as a place blacks throughout the hemisphere could seek as a refuge in their fight to attain freedom and better living conditions. As neither Pétion nor Christophe was able to barter a recognition deal for Haiti from France, or from any other country, they focused instead on the internal organization of their dominions. They believed these internal improvements would prove their worthiness to join the family of nations.36 An element of competition between the two leaders also underlay these efforts. During the 1810s, both Pétion and Christophe erected public monuments, buildings, and other public works; both men ennobled themselves with grand titles of state to project power and authority; and both men opened up national

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  45 schools and public presses in large towns and cities that were translated and published in English-Â�language newspapers in the United States and England. Christophe, more so than Pétion, took advantage of the public space of letters and sought out opportunities both for himself and for his administrators to publicize his nation-Â�building activities in the African-Â�American community. In a bundle of documents published in Philadelphia in 1811, he defended the monarchy he established as the “mode of government, suitable to the people’s wishes,” and claimed that “the example of the United States, which are governed by a President, cannot change our opinion with respect to the insufficiency of the title.”37 Similar debate in the United States surrounded the assurance of respect and dignity for the President.38 Promoting the dignity of the kingdom on the world stage remained a goal of Christophe’s throughout his reign. Administrators in the kingdom were encouraged to publish material about the Haitian nation in the United States and in England on behalf of their king. Prince Saunders, one of the first northern African American civic and intellectual leaders to live in Haiti, had been a Bostonian schoolteacher before moving to Haiti to work as an education administrator in Christophe’s kingdom.39 At the recommendation of London’s African Institute, Saunders began working in Haiti in 1816 and quickly found his footing as a publicist with the publication of Haytian Papers (1816), a collection of official proclamations and documents from Christophe’s kingdom. First published in London and then revised and published in a different format in Boston, this inside view of the kingdom of Christophe and of the Haitian people, economy, and society was an act of public relations.40 Baron de Vastey, another public figure in Haiti who published books and pamphlets that were translated into English, defended Christophe’s kingdom, detailed the progressive treatment Christophe’s subjects received, and attacked the racist ideology that supported slavery and racial inequality.41 One of de Vastey’s works, Reflexions, reviewed in English-Â�language publications on both sides of the Atlantic, revealed his feelings about color prejudice: “All nations have their prejudices: we esteem black a handsomer colour than white .â•›.â•›. As to beauty, it consists in elegance of form, and regularity of features; and in this view of the subject we conceive of ourselves equally favoured with the white.”42 His evident pride in being black and assertions that blacks were the equal of whites in beauty must have been welcomed by an African-Â�American community defending themselves against racial stereotypes and the erosion of their right to citizenship.43 De Vastey’s pride in Haiti was evident with statements such as “[the land] where the black man may lift his head”; and, “Let the enemies of the blacks tell if they can of a people situated as we have been, who have done greater things, and in the short time of one quarter of a century,” which were widely quoted in American newspapers.44 As the editor of the North American Review wrote in his review of De Vastey’s Reflexions, “Now we consider all this to be proof, which cannot be set aside or evaded, of the capacity of blacks for improvement; for however imperfect might be the national schools and colleges, the mere

46  •  Fanning establishment of such institutions indicated good sense in the people .â•›.â•›. to be tokens of approaching civilization in Hayti.”45 These remarks of improvement among Haitians would not have gone unnoticed by the African-Â�American audience who were themselves living in a society who increasingly assumed African-Â�American dependency was based on physical and mental inferiority.46 As the De Vastey publication makes clear, the educational systems set up by Pétion and Christophe were heavily publicized in the newspapers and publications of the day and surely a selling point among African Americans who as a community went to great pains to educate themselves.47 In a New Year’s Day speech, Christophe publicized how highly he valued education: “To form good citizens we must educate our children. From our national institutions will proceed a race of men capable of defending their knowledge and talents.â•›.â•›.â•›.”48 Preempting the sentiments of modern state founders, Christophe placed great emphasis on education for the nation’s people and looked to education as a passport for Haiti into the family of nations. As reported in the leading American newspapers, Christophe’s educational programs pushed English as well as French reading and writing. In one paper’s report on the progress of the Cape Henry school, the children’s English was so proficient after three months they could already “read the Bible in English.”49 Christophe also flirted with changing the state religion from Roman Catholic to Protestant as well as with making the kingdom’s official language English rather than French. The adoption of English would have mitigated fears of cultural alienation among prospective American emigrants. The move also suggests an internationalist bent, such as later black nationalists adopted, although Christophe’s stated aim sounded more Anglophiliac: “changing the manners and habits of my citizens, which until now preserve those of the French and replacing them with the manners of habits of the English.”50 Christophe’s admiration for English culture and social structures derived in part from the antislavery activities of the English in abolishing the Atlantic slave trade and in part to the reality of the diplomatic situation.51 Many African Americans admired the British and characterized them as true liberators who eliminated the Atlantic slave trade in 1808, an enormous cause of celebration in the African-Â�American community. Pétion also made education and cultural institutes a priority and was quoted as saying education “raises man to the dignity of his being.”52 In his 1816 Constitution, Pétion, in Article 36, mandated that free primary-Â�school education be available to all citizens. In an era when universal education was unheard of, both Christophe’s and Pétion’s educational agenda were distinguishing marks for their dominions and an added attraction to African Americans who saw in Haiti similar efforts to uplift. With the issuance and publication of his 1816 Constitution, a revision of the 1806 Constitution, Pétion finally took his place in the public space of letters Christophe had dominated for so long. The Constitution was a great work of publicity and its effect was immediately apparent on the African-Â�American community. The constitution, like so many other Haitian proclamations and

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  47 publications of the time, was printed and published in the United States.53 Pétion’s newest laws were the granting of citizenship rights to all Africans and Native Americans after 1 year (Article 44), religious toleration (Article 49), and free education (Article 36). Overall, the changes taking place in the two Haitis throughout the 1810s in extending citizenship rights to Native Americans and Africans, offering religious tolerance, if not religious change, contemplating English as the official language, granting universal education to all citizens, as well as bold avowals of color pride and evident pride of nation may well have made American blacks consider the idea of Haiti as a possible future home even before emigration to the island was actively promoted formally by Haitian leaders. Pétion’s Constitution was also explicitly advertised in the United States with the eye-Â�catching “For the Information of the People of Color” in a widely circulated newspaper, Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser. Printed by James Tredwell, who had recently traveled to the Republic and discussed the possibility of African-Â�American emigration with officials in Pétion’s administration, the publication also included a bundle of documents that transcribed the meeting between Tredwell and Joseph Balthazar Inginac, Secretary-Â�General of the Republic. The transcript and letters accompanying the Constitution stated clearly Haiti’s commitment to being a refuge for African Americans.54 Pétion, under the mistaken belief that the ACS was forcibly transporting African Americans to Africa, offered Haiti “with open arms.”55 Africa, he writes, “whence we all derive our origin,” had been “rendered altogether a foreign country” because of “our civilization.” This letter, in addition to extracts from the republic’s constitution, was reprinted in the Niles’ Weekly Register.56 Inginac urges the emigrants to “abandon an ungrateful country” to come to a “country firmly organized, and enjoy the rights of Citizens of Hayti, of happiness and peace.” Settling in Haiti would show “white men that there yet exists coloured and black men who can raise a fearless front, secured from insult and from injury,” and Pétion promised the emigrants “little difference in our manner of living from that of the places they shall leave.”57 In addition to declaring what a political statement migrating to Haiti would make to the world, details of the economic opportunities in the republic were given with the weekly income a skilled worker (six to twelve dollars) and farmers (two to four dollars) could expect. Haiti’s profile as an emigrant destination was rising and reached new heights and wider audiences with the 1816 Constitution and once Christophe decided to advertise directly to the northern black community through his agent, Prince Saunders. Prince Saunders, dispatched on a speaking tour in the United States, was well versed in advertising the kingdom to a wider world audience through the publication of Haytian Papers. Proposed by Thomas Clarkson, the British abolitionist, as the best method to gain American recognition of his kingdom, Christophe’s emigration scheme was conceived by its designers as a diplomatic feint rather than as a black-Â�nationalist movement.58 His abiding goal was the

48  •  Fanning security, recognition, and uplift of his people, Haitians. Nevertheless, Saunders excelled at promoting Haiti and spoke to the Augustinian Society, a Philadelphia African-Â�American elite group, about the Haitian progress under Christophe, and again to the American Convention for the Abolition of Slavery late in 1818, claiming hundreds were waiting to emigrate from New England and the Middle States.59 Before Christophe’s emigration scheme could be set in motion, however, the king committed suicide in the face of a rebellion, ending Saunders’ formal plan of using Christophe’s ships and $25,000 to transport the emigrants to the island. In the meantime, Jean-Â�Pierre Boyer had become President of the Republic of Hayti in 1818 after Pétion died from natural causes and subsequently the President of a united Haiti after Christophe’s death in 1820.60 Boyer was already a celebrated figure among African Americans when he acceded to the presidency. In 1812, the first New York African Masonic Lodge opened under the name of the Boyer Lodge. When the New York Prince Hall Masons established the lodge, Boyer was a well-Â�known general and leader in the Republic of Haiti in charge of the Port-Â�au-Prince region; he may already have been a prominent Mason in Haiti.61 With this choice of lodge name, the cultural and political connection between northern black communities and Haiti become obvious. When New Yorkers and the rest of the African Masons chose to honor Boyer in 1812 it was a conspicuous public tribute to Haiti and the Haitian military leader.62 Boyer, born in St. Domingue to a white father and an African slave mother, was educated in France and served in the French republican army fighting French royalist forces who rejected the rights granted to the free people of color by the French Republic. Boyer returned to Haiti to fight Louverture and his black army with General Rigaud’s forces. Boyer fled the island with hundreds of mulattoes once Louverture became commander of the territory. En route to France, Boyer’s ship was captured by American privateers and he spent time in the United States in the home of New England Quakers.63 The links Boyer forged during his stay in the United States may also have motivated him in his emigration offers. When he started advertising in US newspapers in 1820 and 1821 for emigrants to come to Haiti,64 Boyer had two principal motives: he hoped the American emigration scheme would both stimulate the economy and win American recognition of his government.65 In one newspaper article, Boyer emphasized “the astonishing fertility of the soil, which makes it the garden of the western archipelago,” where the laws of the country because of “our wise constitution .â•›.â•›. insures a free country to Africans and their descendants.” Believing the guiding hand of “Providence has destined Hayti for a land of promise, a sacred asylum, where our unfortunate brethren will, in the end, see their wounds healed by the balm of equality, and their tears wiped away by the protecting hand of liberty,”66 Boyer was selling Haiti hard to African Americans. This campaign failed to bring the expected number of emigrants and Boyer, preoccupied by French threats of an attack, lost interest. Haiti’s continued ostracism on the international stage – no country would recognize its right to exist and many nations hampered Haiti’s right to demand

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  49 prime rates of exchange – compounded the economic and social situation. In the decades of warfare and the internal discontent following independence, the loss of life and property stalled the island’s economic growth and jeopardized its social stability. In particular, Boyer faced a tough diplomatic climate in his relations with France. Relations were at such a low point with the former colony that the American presses reported that an invasion of the island was imminent. Those who kept abreast of Caribbean affairs knew of the suspicions and rumors bandied about of Haitians agitating for slave insurrections in its neighboring island’s societies. These suspicions reached an apex in the winter of 1823 when a threatened Martinique slave insurrection was blamed on the direct involvement of Haitian freedom fighters. France, believing Boyer and Haiti were meddling in its colony’s affairs, swore military revenge. Boyer attempted in vain to dissolve the tensions diplomatically and denied any responsibility. These tensions came to a head in February 1824 when Boyer ordered his national guard to be “completely organized without delay.” Further reports on activities in Haiti noted that “new towns are built in the interior on the summits of the highest mountains for women and children; provision and ammunition are already stored there .â•›.â•›. in case the proposed treaty [with France] should only be a veil to conceal an expedition against them.”67 Observers of the time believed the inexorable slide toward war with France enhanced the island’s attractiveness to potential emigrants: “there are, colored men who would glory in an opportunity .â•›.â•›. to be placed upon the bulwark that stood between Gallic oppression & Haytien liberty.” Since the earliest days of Haitian independence it was understood that black Americans would be willing to defend Haiti against outside invasion.68 Believing African Americans relished the opportunity to defend Haiti against the French and battle white domination, one United States Gazette observer argued that participation in Haiti’s war would bolster free blacks’ claim “to share in all the advantages [in Haiti] which their valour and constancy insured.”69 Through warfare African Americans could defend Haiti and demonstrate that they were worthy of becoming Haitian citizens. The potential French attack was avoided when Boyer opened up negotiations and reached a final agreement in April of 1825 to a treaty promising to pay France an enormous indemnity of 150 million francs that also granted trade concessions in exchange for French recognition of Haiti’s independence. In negotiations with France, Boyer once again could focus on African-Â� American emigration to the island. This time – emulating Christophe and Prince Saunders – he sent his emissary Jonathas Granville to the United States on a speaking tour in the summer of 1824.70 In his speaking tour, Granville spoke of Haiti as a refuge from America’s inequalities and racism, while highlighting the values the two nations shared.71 Boyer also promised land, agricultural tools, wages, and freedom of religion to the would-Â�be emigrants. In order to help the process along, Boyer sent 50,000 lbs of coffee with Granville to be sold for money to fund transportation costs – Boyer was hiring ship captains to ferry emigrants

50  •  Fanning to Haiti. Undoubtedly the idea of paying the emigrants’ passage was modeled on Saunders’ earlier plan under Christophe. In the United States, Haytian Emigration Societies by groups of Quakers and others – both blacks and whites – were formed to support the emigration scheme.72 Little is known about the black organization except for some of the prominent leaders – Richard Allen, Peter Williams, and James Forten. Among the white members were disillusioned former members of the American Colonization Society, who had become disenchanted with the failure of the society to send African Americans to Africa. These societies took notices out in newspapers about the new scheme, and news items featuring Haytian Emigration Societies popped up throughout the northeast in the major cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.73 Outlets for the societies became the leading purveyors of information to prospective settlers, in addition to Granville’s public tour. Richard Allen, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination, allowed Granville to use his church to publicize Boyer’s offer. Boyer and Granville both used evocative language that promised “descendants of Africans, who groan in the United States in misery and humiliation, an asylum, where [you] have the means of enjoying the invaluable rights of equal laws and citizenship.”74 Boyer pledged to African Americans they would be welcomed as “brothers” and that Haiti was a “mother” and an “asylum” to all descendants of Africa. Combining the newspaper tracts about recognition and Boyer’s appealing offers of settlement, the cumulative message was of a fiercely independent republican nation that welcomed blacks, and advocated abolition (Boyer re-Â�emancipated Santo Domingo’s slaves when he conquered the Spanish colony). Further, they promised freedom of religion, and unity under a popular ruler, President Boyer.75 The descriptions of Haiti evoked by Boyer and Granville would have appealed to African Americans who were becoming an increasingly ravaged community. The 1820s brought even tougher economic times to the community as maritime jobs grew scarce thanks to South Carolina’s laws against black sailors. In 1822 northern black participation in the maritime trades became circumscribed by events in South Carolina when Denmark Vesey, a freed slave, was accused of fomenting a slave rebellion. South Carolinian authorities believed black sailors were instrumental to the plot. To prevent any further contact between slaves and sailors, South Carolina required all black sailors to spend the duration of the ship’s time in port in jail. They also required the sailors to pay the expenses incurred while incarcerated. After learning of the new law, a Haitian paper, described as an “excellent Paper, for which several distinguished Officers are writers” “severely censored” the law against free blacks.76 This audit of American treatment of free blacks may have increased Haiti’s stature as a defender of black rights. African-Â�American political rights were also shrinking as the “universal” manhood suffrage movement swept the country and placed many free blacks in a political no-Â�man’s land. In New York, the African-Â�American community retained

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  51 the right to vote but with the added requirement of $250 worth of property; this law was enacted at the same time suffrage without property qualifications was granted to all white males.77 African Americans were pushed into a corner and some preferred to leave. Within weeks of Granville’s tour, 120 individuals left from New York, while thirty families embarked on ships from Philadelphia. Less than six months later, estimates of over 4,000 to 5,000 settlers had made their way to Haitian shores. In all, an estimated 13,000 African Americans sailed for the island in the 1820s.78 Although many of the emigrants returned to the United States, the story of Haitian influence on African-Â�American social and cultural development remains important. Historians have blamed a combination of factors for the high rate of returning emigrants – homesickness, the language barrier, the religious and cultural isolation – and these issues probably did contribute significantly.79 Another cause of the high return rate: France had recognized Haiti’s independence in the interim; some African Americans may have felt their work in Haiti was completed. Northern African Americans’ invocations of Haiti underscore the range of influences operating on the community in the 1810s and 1820s. These invocations sowed the seeds for an internationalist project. To the emigrants embarking on their journey, Haiti represented the quintessence of black nationalism – a place where blackness was celebrated and not cursed, a place independent in the eyes of the world, a place where the tenets of republican ideology were respected, and a place that protected and defended black people from around the Atlantic. Independent Haiti was the black nation that African Americans looked to as an alternative to Africa. Notes ╇ 1 Stuckey, Slave Culture, 198–203; Melish, Disowning Slavery, 249; Nash, Forging Freedom, 185. ╇ 2 The very terms “Africa” and “Africans” are European in origin. It was during the late eighteenth century that victims of the Atlantic slave trade began to reference themselves this way rather than by their ethnic identities. This transformation is encapsulated in Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, written by himself; Sidbury, Becoming African in America, chapter 2. ╇ 3 Stuckey, Slave Culture, 200; Foner, History of Black Americans, 303. ╇ 4 Stuckey, Slave Culture, chapter 1; Mintz and Price, Birth of African-Â�American Culture. Debates continue about how African African-Â�American identity and culture are. Stuckey argues African-Â� American culture is overwhelmingly African in origin. Mintz and Price argue that African Americans appropriated aspects of European culture quickly and became a creolized American culture created from African, American, and European cultures. ╇ 5 The other major emigration movement occurred at the end of the American Revolution when the British took 3,000 former slaves with them in their retreat from New York. These men and women settled in Nova Scotia and eventually moved permanently to Sierra Leone. Walker, Black Loyalists. The subject has not been completely neglected. The best of the works on this subject are: Winch, American Free Blacks; Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 168–72; Jackson, “Origins of Pan-Â� African Nationalism,” 78–117; Dixon, African America and Haiti, chapter 1. ╇ 6 For the most comprehensive studies of the Haitian Revolution, see Dubois, Avengers of the New World; James, Black Jacobins; Fick, Making of Haiti. ╇ 7 Historians have assumed until recently that black nationalism took hold in the African-Â�American community in the 1850s when Haiti and Liberia both became destinations for African Americans

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who chose to leave the United States. Historians have linked the essentialist ideas articulated among African Americans in the late 1840s and 1850s to the black nationalist projects dominating the political discourse of the period. Moses, in Golden Age of Black Nationalism, argues that black nationalist ideology claimed an essentialist or biological explanation for racial difference in the 1850s (25). Stuckey sees this sense of kinship and common identification as natural and timeless (Slave Culture, chapter 1). In the 1960s and 1970s, black nationalist thought as delineated by historians came to mean a cultural and political rejection of the United States by the African-Â�American community. By aspiring to form a black nation, African Americans were declaring they no longer wished to integrate into American society or culture (Bracey et al., Black Nationalism in America). Historians have moved beyond this dichotomy and have become much more attuned to the complex goals, forces, and ideas influencing the community’s idea of nation, separation, and migration (Sidbury, Becoming African in America). Dickson Bruce posits that some people in the black community (such as Paul Cuffee) perceived nationalism and colonization as ideas that would allow African Americans and all descendants of Africa “to join a community of nations .â•›.â•›. [and that these ideas] had less to do with simple separation than with an effort to address both the demands of difference and the imputations of inequality” (Bruce, “National Identity”). Black nationalism as a concept has taken on many guises in historians’ hands (see note 7). My definition of black nationalism: the desire for a nation governed by blacks, independent of white rule, and welcoming to all black people. Frey, Water from the Rock, 229–32; Mullin, Africa in America, 217–37; Hall, Africans in Colonial Louisiana, chapters 10–11; Sidbury, Ploughshares into Swords; Egerton, Gabriel’s Rebellion; Egerton, He Shall Go Out Free; Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution; Julius Scott, “Common Wind”; Blackburn, Overthrow of Colonial Slavery. Charles Deslondes, a St. Dominguan, led the largest slave revolt in the history of the United States in Louisiana. Geggus, “Preface,” xiv. Historians have since suggested that contemporaries made up the Vesey conspiracy and the LA conspiracy. See Johnson, “Denmark Vesey and His Co-Â� Conspirators”; Roberts, “Slaves and Slavery in Louisiana” for a discussion of the 1811 Louisiana revolt. Scott, “Common Wind”; Bolster, Black Jacks; White, “Flood of Impure Lava.” Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution, xx; Sidbury, “Saint Domingue in Virginia.” The emphasis on “republican” highlights Haiti’s place in the Age of Revolutions as a cultural and political ally of the French and American systems of government. These free people of color included Alexandre Pétion and Jean-Â�Pierre Boyer, both future leaders of Haiti, as well as the lesser known Benoit Joseph Rigaud, the rival of Louverture for supreme control of the former colony. Bruce, “National Identity and African-Â�American Colonization”; Sidbury, Becoming African in America; Adeleke, UnAfrican Americans. Literature on African-American conceptions of Africa has highlighted how Africa was imagined, interpreted, and understood by the community providing an important methodological model to understanding the developing sense of kinship and identification with Haitians and Haiti. (See note 7 on the concepts of nation and black nationalism.) Dain, “Haiti and Egypt”; Bruce, Origins of African American Literature, 120–1. Dickson Bruce asserts that since few publications produced by the African-Â�American community referenced Haiti, he assumes there was little interest in the island-Â�nation. Relying solely on literary source material skews our understanding of the social and political activities the African-Â�American community engaged in. Pasley, “The Tyranny of Printers.” Newspapers frequently filched interesting news clips from a wide variety of papers throughout the country without fear, as they faced no copyright or intellectual property laws. Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier, 5. Hall, “A Charge of 1797,” quote, 47. Ibid., 47. Melish, Disowning Slavery, Chapter 5. Melish describes former slaves’ circumstances as more abject than they were during slavery. Nash, Forging Freedom, 176; White, “It Was a Proud Day,” 34. Albany Centinel, July 20, 1804. Little is known of the African-Â�American crowd’s social makeup. The next year, 1805, African Americans who assembled for the 4th of July parade were driven from the event (Nash, Forging Freedom, 177).

The Roots of Early Black Nationalism  •  53 23 In practice, however, the nations both struggled with their new-Â�found freedom. Dessalines crowned himself emperor and demanded the right to name his successor. Adams, the most famously aristocratic republican of the era, proposed referring to the President as “Majesty” and enacted the Alien and Sedition laws that curbed individual rights laid out in the Constitution. 24 Zuckerman describes how Cape Français (Cape Henry or Haytian) supported “royal society of the arts and sciences, a museum, botanical gardens, and academy of agriculture, a number of newspapers, and a playhouse” (Almost Chosen, 179); McClellan, Colonialism and Science, describes the scientific institution, the Cercles des Philadelphes, founded in St. Domingue in 1784. 25 As for independence, the meaning of independence for a nation revolved around issues of trade, sovereignty, government administration, and internal finance. The United States fought the War of 1812 in an effort to work out the contours of the meaning of independence for a republican nation. 26 Quoted in Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier, 36. Pétion later included more black nationalist policies in his 1816 constitution that granted citizenship to all descendants of Africa who lived in Haiti for one year. 27 His expansive notion of national identity also included Poles and Germans, French mercenary troops who deserted from the French colonial army. 28 Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier, 142. 29 Christophe’s ship Heureuse Reunion had three American sailors aboard when it was captured in 1812 (Cole, Christophe, King of Haiti, 198, 176). For American sailors’ aid to Louverture see Zuckerman, Almost Chosen, 179; Hickey, “America’s Response,” 365–9. 30 Bolster, Black Jacks, 145. 31 Bolster, Black Jacks, Chapter 5; Scott, “Common Wind,” Chapter 4. 32 Cuffe, Narrative of the Life, 5; Bolster, Black Jacks, 147. 33 White, “It Was a Proud Day,” 46. 34 Niles’ Weekly Register, November 9, 1816. 35 Bolster, Black Jacks, 145. 36 The two most valuable sources for Haiti’s nation-Â�building efforts: Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier; Trouillot, Haiti, State against Nation. 37 Christophe, Formation of the New Dynasty, 9. 38 Debates on what the appropriate title to give Washington took up more than a month of the Senate’s first session of office. McCullough, John Adams, 405. 39 White, “Prince Saunders.” 40 The London publication of 1816 includes the chapter, “Reflections of the Editor,” that was deleted for the Boston edition. The chapter praises Christophe and castigates Pétion as a traitor to the Haitian people since he had “renounced real independence” – referring to the rumor of his negotiations with France (Haytian Papers, 192–3). 41 The writings of Baron de Vastey, a member of Christophe’s administration, were especially well received and well regarded. Political Remarks upon certain French Publications and Journals concerning Hayti; also, An Essay on the Causes of the Revolution and Civil Wars of Hayti; Joseph Milligan, a book agent, advertised in The Daily Intelligencer, February 24, 1820, he had just received de Vastey’s Reflexions in his shop. See The Daily Intelligencer, February 24, 1820. 42 Vastey, Reflexions on the blacks and whites; “Hayti,” The Analetic Magazine, May 1817; “Hayti,” North American Review, 12(1) (1821) transcribed large portions of text from the book, Reflexions sur une Lettre de Mexeres, Ex-Â�Colon Francais, addressee a M. J. C. L. Sismonde de Sismondi, sur les Noirs et les Blancs, la Civilization de l’Afrique, le Royaume d’ Hayti, etc. 43 Evident in the public writings of Daniel Coker, “A Dialogue between a Virginian and an African Minister” (1810) and James Forten, “Series of Letters by a Man of Colour” (1813) in Newman et al., Pamphlets of Protest. 44 Vermont Gazette, June 6, 1818; Poulson’s Daily Advertiser, June 1, 1818; The Daily Intelligencer, February 24, 1820. 45 North American Review, June 1821, 133. 46 Gossett, Race, discusses how in the late eighteenth century the two racial theories overlapped for a time and how even Thomas Jefferson alternated between the two theories (chapter 3). 47 Northern free blacks established schools almost as soon as freedom from slavery was won. In 1795, Richard Allen established the first black Sunday school in Philadelphia (Nash, Forging Freedom, 204).

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Quoted in Cole, Christophe, 241. Niles’ Weekly Register, November 25, 1820. Quoted in Racine, “Britannia’s Bold Brother,” 133; “Henri I,” The Atheneum, May 1, 1821, 98. Many observers at the time debated what made Christophe so pro-Â�British. Many commentators believed Christophe’s birthplace was St. Kitts or St. Christopher’s, which was an English colony at the time. Those close to Christophe, however, stated his birthplace was Grenada. Most historians today concur (Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier, 266, n.22). Blackett, in Building an Antislavery Wall, argues that American blacks saw the British as the true friends of African descendants and eagerly sought to travel there after the 1830s. Quoted in Bellegarde, “Alexandre Pétion,” 250. Poulson’s Daily Advertiser, August 18, 1818. The effect of his Constitution can be gauged in New York where African Americans requested permission of President Pétion to emigrate to his republic in 1817 before the Tredwell publication. As Tredwell explained in the packet of documents, Pétion learned of the ACS and the American forced removal campaign “through the captains of certain vessels” (Constitution of the Republic of Hayti, 7). Niles’ Weekly Register, October 17, 1818. Pétion, Constitution of the Republic of Hayti, 5–6. Griggs and Prator, Henry Christophe and Thomas Clarkson. Clarkson suggested Christophe should pursue African-Â�American emigration as an effective way of maneuvering the United States to buy the Spanish part of the island and perhaps even recognize the nation (124–5; 142–3; 149–50; 162–3). Saunders, engaged to Paul Cuffee’s daughter, was well connected in the northern African-Â� American community and appeared to have little trouble finding speaking engagements. Saunders, Address delivered at Bethel Church, in Porter, Early Negro Writing. Pétion’s death was widely reported and his burial under the “liberty tree” in Port-Â�au-Prince confirmed Haiti’s place in the revolutionary tradition of the American Revolution and honored the same accoutrements of the period. During his presidency, Boyer acted as the “Grand Protector of the Masonic Order in Haiti” (quote in Sheller, “Sword-Â�Bearing Citizens,” 254). The early history of Freemasonry in Haiti remains unclear. It is impossible to know how many St. Domingue Masonic Lodges were maintained after the revolution or whether they had been open to free people of color. Racine notes that in 1806, the Grand Lodge of England established a branch in Haiti, “Britannia’s Bold Brother,” n.6. As a member of the Prince Hall Masons, the Boyer Lodge received its charter and approval for its name from the Boston Prince Hall Grand Lodge and from other African Masonic Lodges in Boston, Philadelphia, and Providence. Baur, “Mulatto Machiavelli.” Niles’ Weekly Register and National Gazette and Literary Register both published information about Boyer’s offer. The National Gazette more so than Niles’ debated the merits of the plan, March 24, 1821; August 25, 1821. There was even a report that a Maryland Haytian Society was formed in Baltimore by free blacks to “enquire into the propriety of emigrating to Hayti.” Niles’ Weekly Register, February 17, 1821. When the United States recognized the South American republics, Boyer sent letters of complaint to American newspapers. National Gazette and Literary Register, February 17, 1824. Niles’ Weekly Register, July 1, 1820. “delay,” United States Gazette, February 16, 1824; “new towns,” New York Daily Advertiser, May 31, 1824; National Gazette, June 3, 1824. Cole, Christophe, 146; New York Literary Journal, May 1820; National Recorder, November 25, 1820. United States Gazette, November 5, 1824. Information on the Philanthropic organization can be found in Jackson, “Origins of Pan-Â�African Nationalism,” 54–5. After Christophe’s death, Saunders served in Boyer’s cabinet as Attorney General and may have helped with formulating the organization of the emigration scheme. Granville, Biographie de Jonathas Granville par son fils. Much of this biography is made up of newspaper clippings published in the United States during his tour. There is little information on these societies available except what can be ascertained from the

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newspapers and the two publications – Correspondence relative to the Emigration to Hayti of the Free People of Colour and Information for the Free People of Colour who are Inclined to Emigrate to Hayti. Letters have been found that indicate Thomas Eddy, Mathew Clarkson, Peter Augustus Jay, and Theodore Dwight were among some New Yorkers organizing to endorse Haitian emigration (see letter from New York dated July 10, 1824, Quaker Collection, Thomas P. Cope Collection, Haverford College). Unlike the American Colonization Society, whose branch activities were coordinated by the central office in Washington, DC, the Haytien Emigration Society seems to have been made up of local societies. The exception: the Baltimore Haytien Emigration Society considered itself under the control of the New York group (The American, July 23, 1824). More societies were expected to form all along the eastern seaboard: Jersey City, New Jersey; New Castle, Delaware; Alexandria, Norfolk, and Wheeling, VA; Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; St. Augustine and Pensacola, FL; Huntsville and Mobile, AL; Natchez, MS; New Orleans, LA; Town of Arkansas, AR; St. Louis, MO; Knoxville and Nashville, TN; Louisville, KY (Genius of Universal Emancipation, November 1820, 18). Niles’ Weekly Register, August 14, 1824, 400. They were re-Â�emancipated because Toussaint had previously abolished slavery in Santo Domingo when he conquered it in the revolution. Poulson’s Daily Advertiser, August 27, 1823. This eliminated almost all eligible African-Â�American voters. By 1825, only sixty-Â�eight out of 12,259 African Americans in the city could vote. Walker, Afro-Â�American in New York City, 116. Benjamin Hunt estimated that as many as 13,000 emigrated. Hunt, Remarks on Hayti, 11. There was also a record-Â�breaking drought that hit the Port-Â�au-Prince region that compounded the emigrants’ dislocation. Rev. Loring Dewey mentions this drought in a series of letters to the New York Observer that were published in the winter and spring of 1825 detailing the conditions of the emigrants in Haiti.

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“The Black Republic” The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816–18621 Leslie M. Alexander On August 30, 1824, Peter Williams Jr., an esteemed leader in New York City’s Black community stood before a group of Black migrants as they prepared to embark on a powerful journey; an exodus from the United States, their land of birth, to Haiti, a new land of hope. “You are going to a good country,” he exclaimed, “where a dark complexion will be no disadvantage; where you will enjoy true freedom.â•›.â•›.â•›.” For Williams and his supporters, this was a momentous occasion, when the first “pioneers” set sail from the United States destined for a new homeland where they believed they would find liberty, justice, equality, and citizenship – not only for themselves, but for their children and the entire race. As Williams bade them farewell, he concluded: “Go to that highly favored, and as yet only land, where the sons of Africa appear as a civilized, well ordered, and flourishing nation. Go, remembering that the happiness of millions of the present and future generations depends upon your prosperity.â•›.â•›.â•›.”2 As Williams’ closing remarks revealed, many African Americans in the early nineteenth century viewed Haiti as a beacon of hope; a land full of vitality and potential where people of African descent could build a new republic, free from the bonds of slavery and racism. Enthusiasm about the budding nation was particularly strong among free Black Northerners, who were inspired by Haiti’s status as an independent Black republic. Their excitement grew in the 1820s after the country’s political leaders began espousing early notions of Pan-Â�Africanism; the Haitian government openly promoted racial solidarity, and urged African Americans to migrate to Haiti where they could help create a powerful, autonomous Black nation. As the exodus from New York City demonstrated, the Haitian emigration movement blossomed during this era and thousands of African Americans fled the US. However, the early Haitian emigration movement was short lived, and its demise marked a trend away from Pan-Â�Africanism and emigration among African Americans. In the wake of internal political and economic discord in the new island nation, excitement about Haitian emigration waned toward the end of the decade. By 1830, the Black leadership essentially abandoned emigration

58  •  Alexander and colonization schemes, resolving, instead, to fight for justice and equality in the United States. Yet while most scholars end this story at this moment – the Black leadership’s decision to focus their energies on the fight for abolition and American citizenship – it is certainly not the end of this important tale. Ultimately, although the reality of Haiti proved somewhat disappointing, Haiti’s image as an independent Black nation was still powerfully important to America’s free Black population in subsequent decades. Indeed, despite the decline of the early Haitian emigration movement, Black leaders remained determined to protect Haiti’s freedom, and fought to assert its legitimacy in the international political arena. This became a particularly contentious issue after 1825, because although France finally acknowledged Haitian independence, the United States stubbornly refused to extend diplomatic recognition to the new Black republic. The US government’s denial of Haiti’s autonomy, and its existence as an independent nation, was particularly frustrating to the Black leadership because they clearly understood that such a policy smacked of racism, upheld the system of slavery, and was a decided concession to the pro-­slavery South. As a result, from the late 1830s through the 1850s, Black activists consistently pressured the United States Congress to recognize Haitian independence. Moreover, by the late 1850s, Black activists renewed their support for independent Haiti by re-­invigorating the emigration movement. Prominent leaders such as James Theodore Holly, Henry Highland Garnet, and Frederick Douglass openly encouraged African Americans to relocate to Haiti, and aid in the process of building a free Black nation. This movement had substantial support until shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, when many activists refocused their attention on the domestic front in hopes that the war might finally bring an end to slavery. Ultimately, this era was a time of hope for Black activists; they witnessed the demise of slavery, and the US government finally extended diplomatic recognition to Haiti. Even so, the United States government’s discriminatory policies toward Haiti in the early nineteenth century created an unfortunate legacy for the Black republic’s political and economic viability throughout the decades that followed; a pattern that painfully mirrored the United States’ policies toward the African American community within its own borders. *  *  * In 1804, Jean-­Jacques Dessalines announced the formation of Haiti, the first Black republic in the Western Hemisphere, and officially declared their independence from France. This event was profoundly important to African Americans in the United States, and ultimately had both symbolic and tangible ramifications for the Black freedom struggle in the antebellum era. Yet unlike the South, where the influence of the Haitian Revolution was more immediately felt in the form of rebellions, the response in the North was slower and more gradual. By 1816, however, Haiti played a critical role in Northern Black political discourse. Plagued by violence, racism, injustice, poverty, the denial of

“The Black Republic”  •  59 citizenship, and a tenuous social status, many newly emancipated African Americans wondered if “freedom” was an illusion and grew increasingly doubtful about their future in the United States. By contrast, Haiti represented the culmination of Black political autonomy. During the revolution, enslaved people had thrown off their shackles and declared their right to self-Â�determination. Once Haiti became an independent nation, it appeared to be the ultimate manifestation of what Black activists hoped to achieve. Thus, Black Northerners who feared that they would never receive equality and citizenship in the United States cast their vision to Haiti and eventually formed an emigration movement. Significantly, the growing enthusiasm about the notion of Black migration to Haiti was not one-Â�sided. From the nation’s founding, Haitian leaders actively worked to attract Black migrants from the United States to their burgeoning country. Haiti’s first president, Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, vigorously recruited African Americans and even offered American ship captains forty dollars for every African American they brought to Haiti. Henri Christophe and Alexandre Pétion, who beginning in 1807 ruled Northern and Southern Haiti respectively, also sought to mold Haiti into a potential destination for African Americans. When Pétion drafted his Constitution in 1816, he included a special clause that granted citizenship to all descendants of Africa who lived in Haiti for one year; a strategy that would have certainly appealed to many African Americans. Although such inducements did not immediately produce a large Black migration to Haiti, their efforts revealed that Haitian leaders felt an emigration movement could be mutually beneficial; Haiti would gain from an influx in population, especially skilled laborers and sailors, and African Americans could find refuge from American racism and obtain citizenship in a new home.3 In the latter portion of 1816, the Haitian emigration movement slowly took shape when activist Prince Saunders began extolling the virtues of the Haitian republic in the Black community. Saunders, a teacher at the African School in Boston, first traveled to Haiti in 1815 after British abolitionist William Wilberforce encouraged him to help establish schools there. Shortly after his arrival, Henri Christophe, the ruler of Northern Haiti, appointed Saunders as the Minister of Education and, over the next few years, Saunders recruited teachers and worked to enhance Haiti’s educational system.4 Inspired by his interaction with Christophe and the positive developments he witnessed within the Haitian republic, Saunders soon became an avid supporter of Haitian emigration. In an effort to spark a movement, Prince Saunders published his reflections on Haiti in a pamphlet widely known as the Haytian Papers; a document he hoped would effectively promote emigration among African Americans.5 Armed with his printed evidence of Haiti’s success, Saunders set out on a speaking tour in Northern Black communities. In 1818, Saunders unveiled his plans for Haitian emigration at two important gatherings in Philadelphia; a meeting of the Augustine Society, the leading Black men’s organization in the city, and the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. His message was well received in both gatherings and, subsequently, he traveled to

60  •  Alexander New York, Boston, Baltimore, and throughout the North, advocating for Haitian emigration. His efforts were quite successful. Haitian Emigration Societies began to appear in many Northern cities; first in New York in 1818, and then in Philadelphia six years later.6 Despite Saunders’ dedication, however, there was only a small trickle of emigration over the next few years, and it appeared that the movement had hit a stand-Â�still.7 Yet in the early 1820s, a series of important developments emerged that dramatically accelerated Black migration to Haiti. Following the deaths of both Henri Christophe and Alexandre Pétion, a new leader, Jean Pierre Boyer, assumed control of Haiti. Boyer’s presidency was an important turning point because he successfully unified the Haitian republic under his rule and, in 1822, gained control over the entire island of Hispaniola. As Haiti solidified and stabilized during Boyer’s regime (at least in the early years), the nation began to attract African Americans’ interest and attention. Although a few of Boyer’s predecessors had encouraged Black emigration, Boyer was the first to successfully implement a program that resulted in a full-Â�scale migration of African Americans to the island nation.8 President Boyer endorsed emigration because he hoped that Black migration would simultaneously bolster the Haitian economy and improve relations between Haiti and the United States. Immediately following the Haitian Revolution, the US government had terminated all relations – commercial and diplomatic – with the new republic. Although the US eventually re-Â�established trade relations, the government patently refused to recognize Haiti diplomatically. Boyer believed that if Black Americans began to migrate, the US government might feel compelled to extend diplomatic relations in order to facilitate the emigration movement.9 What he did not realize, however, was that the US government’s tenacity regarding their non-Â�recognition policy would not be so easily broken. Regardless, Boyer was initially enthusiastic about Black immigration and began developing an attractive plan in which he wisely implemented two effective strategies; he articulated a political philosophy that resonated with Black leaders, and created a proposal that addressed their most fundamental needs. Although Boyer would later come under crushing criticism for his controversial policies and inept leadership, which eventually caused him to resign and flee Haiti in 1843, he earned widespread support among Blacks in the United States during the mid-Â�1820s. His popularity rested, in part, on the fact that he espoused strong Pan-Â�African leanings. He emphasized that all people of African descent would find brotherhood, equality, and citizenship in Haiti, and lamented the harsh and humiliating conditions that his fellow “descendants of the Africans” experienced in the United States. Even more, he expressed a desire to assist his “brethren” in America who were struggling under racial oppression. As Boyer explained, he had a natural “sympathy” for those of “African blood” and yearned to give them refuge in Haiti: “my heart and my arms have been open to greet, in this land of true liberty, those men upon whom a fatal destiny rests in a manner so cruel.”

“The Black Republic”  •  61 For Black leaders in the United States, who were desperately seeking an asylum for their people, Boyer’s Pan-Â�African rhetoric would certainly have held tremendous appeal. Even more appealing, however, were the financial inducements that Boyer designed to encourage emigration.10 In June of 1824, Boyer dispatched a representative, Jonathas Granville, to travel throughout the United States and unveil his proposal for Haitian emigration: the Haitian government agreed to pay their travel expenses, provide fertile land, tools, schooling and, most importantly, full citizenship. Boyer declared, “Those who come, being children of Africa, shall be Haytiens as soon as they put their feet upon the soil of Hayti.”11 Jonathas Granville was well received in the United States, and was greeted as a celebrity throughout the North. Although his feelings about America were less enthusiastic, particularly because he was outraged by the severity of American racism, he still toiled diligently in the US and worked hard to recruit potential emigrants. He continued to espouse early Pan-Â�African rhetoric, emphasizing in particular the notions that Haiti would serve as a true home to people of African descent and would offer them freedom, equality, and citizenship.12 Granville’s message was so convincing that he won the endorsement of African Americans throughout the North during the summer of 1824. In Philadelphia, Haitian emigration enjoyed widespread support, even among well-Â� respected activists such as James Forten and Bishop Richard Allen, the leader of the African Methodist Church. After Allen began corresponding with President Boyer and Haitian Secretary General Joseph Balthazar Inginac, he started recruiting migrants, and eventually both Allen and James Forten formed the Philadelphia Haitian Emigration Society’s leadership. Allen even sent one of his sons, John, to Haiti to assess the movement’s progress and provide reports about its success. By early 1825, the Haitian Emigration Society published a pamphlet urging free Blacks to consider Haiti as an option since they would never achieve full equality in the United States: “We are your brethren in colour and degradation; and it gives us a peculiar delight to assist a brother to leave a country, where it is but too certain the coloured man will never enjoy his rights.”13 Granville enjoyed similar success in New York City, where activists excitedly endorsed Boyer’s plan. Not long after Granville’s visit, Peter Williams, Jr. departed for Haiti to investigate the conditions on behalf of his community and apparently returned with a positive report, because his visit ultimately led to an exodus from New York City. As mentioned earlier, Peter Williams, Jr. presided over the departure and delivered an inspiring message of hope for the migrants as they fled the United States; a country Williams described as their “house of bondage.”14 Black Baltimoreans also embraced Granville’s message, and formed an emigration society shortly thereafter. At a community meeting in July of 1824, they voted to “use all honourable means to procure a speedy and effectual emigration of the free people of colour.”15 Even Black leaders in Richmond, Virginia responded warmly to the blossoming republic of Haiti, and passed a

62  •  Alexander resolution expressing thanks and gratitude to Haiti and President Boyer for providing an “asylum” where Black people could find true liberty.16 Within the first six months after Granville’s journey through the North, between 4,000 and 5,000 African Americans departed for Haiti, and thousands more soon followed.17 Although free Blacks endorsed Haitian emigration with fervor, American newspapers expressed a wide range of opinion about the movement. The National Advocate, for example, praised the notion of Haitian emigration on the grounds that the government, climate, and social environment would likely be more conducive for the Black population than the United States. But the editor also worried about the long-Â�term effects of encouraging the growth of a Black republic in close proximity to the United States. Moreover, he suggested that the departure of “respectable” Black people could have a deleterious effect on the United States, since the “worst part” of the Black community would likely be left behind.18 Other papers, however, simply took note of the number of migrants who departed from American shores and predicted that the emigration movement would be highly successful. In August of 1824, the Maryland Gazette announced there were hundreds of eager emigrants waiting for the opportunity to make the journey and imagined that Haiti would soon swell with vast numbers of African American migrants. “President Boyer is likely to people his vast domains in a short time.”19 In other cases, they marveled at the ready response among African Americans, and likewise predicted that there would be a mass exodus of Black people from the US. “Considering the short time for preparation .â•›.â•›. the number of respectable emigrants that with so much alacrity have embraced the liberal offers of President Boyer is extremely flattering, and there is every reason to believe that thousands will avail themselves of the earliest opportunity to follow their friends and brethren to the land of promise.”20 In many ways, American newspapers were correct about the numbers of African Americans who “availed” themselves of the emigration plan – at least initially. Boyer’s plan was irresistible to many in the Black community and over the next few years, the Haitian government subsidized the transportation of over 6,000 free Blacks from the Northern US to Haiti. By the end of the 1820s, an estimated 13,000 African Americans had migrated to Haiti. Initial reports seemed favorable; statements sent back to the US spoke highly of the reception they received, and indicated that the settlers were thriving in their new surroundings. One report, for example, indicated that Secretary General Inginac had greeted new arrivals with excitement and a statement of Pan-Â�African solidarity: “because the common blood of GREAT AFRICA makes unbreakable ties, all blacks are brothers regardless of language and religious distinctions.”21 However, transplanted African Americans soon found themselves confronting major problems. Despite Inginac’s enthusiasm for racial solidarity, African Americans were culturally distinct from their Haitian brethren in a number of important ways, and they particularly struggled with language barriers and religious differences. The settlers also quickly became frustrated by the process of land

“The Black Republic”  •  63 distribution, and many suspected that they had been duped. Apprehensive that the government did not intend to deliver on their promise of land, settlers worried that they would be permanent laborers rather than independent landowners.22 In the face of these problems and obstacles, emigration to Haiti slowed and, in fact, there was a sizable “reverse migration” of African Americans returning to the United States. Black activist James McCune Smith reported, for example, that Peter Williams, Jr. had been compelled to return to Haiti and negotiate the release of their “disappointed, distressed, and dissatisfied brethren.” In fact, in 1825, Haiti’s secretary general stated that he believed nearly one-Â�third of the original settlers had returned.23 Amidst growing disillusionment, there was another blow to the Haitian project. Perhaps partly in response to this reverse migration, Secretary General Inginac announced in May of 1825 that the government would no longer subsidize the cost of bringing African Americans to the island.24 The government insisted that their decision was prompted by the immigrants’ poor attitude and performance, a belief that was echoed by a few Black migrants such as Benjamin Hughes. Hughes, the minister of Philadelphia’s First African Presbyterian Church, had immigrated to Haiti in 1824 and maintained that many African Americans had overly romantic notions about what they would encounter upon their arrival in Haiti. In particular, he suggested migrants expected the Haitian government to provide for all of their needs, and were unprepared to perform agricultural labor.25 Clearly, the Haitian emigration movement was slowly unraveling. Even so, Haiti’s political destiny still figured prominently in the minds of African Americans, particularly after the summer of 1825, when the French government finally agreed to recognize Haitian independence. Celebrations occurred in Black communities across the United States, as Black activists delighted in the vision of a free and fully autonomous Black republic. At a gathering of Black Baltimoreans, abolitionist William Watkins reveled in the country’s success: “Of all that has hitherto been done in favor of the descendants of Africa, I recollect nothing so fraught with momentous importance .â•›.â•›. as the recent acknowledgment of Haytien Independence, by one of the European Powers, under whom the African population of that island has long groaned in the more abject bondage.â•›.â•›.â•›. The joy which swells in our bosoms is incommunicable.”26 Yet over the next two years, Black leaders began to express serious reservations about the Haitian project. In part, waning enthusiasm for Haitian emigration was due to Haiti’s internal problems. Not only did the government revoke the inducement plan, but Boyer instituted rather controversial taxation plans; a decision which caused severe economic distress and political upheaval. As one emigrant noted, “Ruin stares every body in the face .â•›.â•›. should this policy of the government be continued, we shall have to leave the Island.” Perhaps most disappointing, however, was Boyer’s decision to pay 150 million francs to France to secure Haitian independence, since his actions seemed to negate the armed struggle against slavery and caused

64  •  Alexander major financial problems in the fledgling country. Freedom’s Journal editor John Russwurm expressed his frustration with the “very questionable character of the late transaction with France” and maintained that Boyer’s choice had dishonored the Haitian republic.27 In addition, there was ongoing concern about the US government’s refusal to recognize Haiti’s independence. In 1827, Freedom’s Journal reprinted an article which lamented the fact that Haiti still “seems to hold its independence by a somewhat doubtful tenure.” Perhaps in response to US policy toward Haiti, the Haitian government determined that they would no longer unreservedly welcome Americans into their country. Freedom’s Journal reported in 1828 that Americans would thereafter be required to announce their presence in Haiti, or face considerable fines. “Those arriving must make a declaration of their arrival before a justice of the peace, stating their intention either to sojourn in the country, or merely to pass through it; and also what profession they intend to exercise.”28 As a result of tense relations between the US and Haiti, there was little agreement on how African Americans should relate to the Haitian republic in the post-Â�independence era. Thus, by the end of the 1820s, Haitian emigration was unreservedly deemed a failure. Reports in 1829 revealed that many of the remaining migrants were frustrated and disappointed. One traveler who visited extensively with a group of immigrants indicated that they were “generally, unpleasantly situated, and very much dissatisfied. They complained to me that the proprietors of the lands for whom they had laboured, for two years and a half, had entirely disappointed them .â•›.â•›. and said they had rather be slaves in North Carolina, than to remain there under the treatment they had received since their arrival.” He also argued that given the cultural differences between Haitians and African Americans, no further consideration should be given to emigration schemes: “From my short acquaintance with the Haytiens, and my observing their dispositions towards our American blacks amongst them, I am not disposed to encourage any free people of colour to go from the United States to settle in Hayti.â•›.â•›.â•›.”29 By 1829, John Russwurm revealed that endorsement of Haitian emigration had practically disappeared due to “unfavourable reports of those who have returned.”30 However, the decline in support for Haitian emigration was not simply due to Haiti’s internal problems, or the United States’ complicated policies toward the burgeoning republic – it also reflected larger trends among Northern Black activists who began to publicly distance themselves from emigrationist sentiment, especially after 1830. In an effort to bolster the movement for abolition and American citizenship, most Black activists turned away from emigration and Pan-Â�Africanism and asserted their rights as Americans.31 Yet despite their rejection of emigration, Black leaders remained in solidarity with the notion of Haiti as a free and autonomous island nation. In 1837, the Colored American newspaper printed a letter from an emigrant in Port-Â�au-Prince that celebrated Haiti’s progress and potential in order to inspire feelings of pride within the Black community. The article emphasized the growth of political and social

“The Black Republic”  •  65 institutions and reminded readers that even though Haiti was an independent country governed by Black people, it was recognized throughout Europe as a free country. “The noble minded Haytians, having met all the conditions of, and achieved their own independence, – stand forth on solid basis, in all the glory of an INDEPENDENT NATION, and are acknowledged as such, by the leading Courts of Europe.” In the following year, the Colored American again rejoiced in Haiti’s accomplishments noting, in particular, the republic’s increasing success in building their infrastructure including commerce and agricultural development, as well as the creation of schools, roads, and other institutions. The editor concluded that the government was moving swiftly toward its goals, and prophesied that the country would soon develop all of its “natural power and wealth.”32 As the 1830s progressed, however, Black activists became increasingly frustrated with Haiti’s position in the international political scene. In particular, they were enraged by the US government’s obstinate refusal to recognize Haiti’s existence as an independent republic. Like most European nations, the United States elected not to extend diplomatic relations to Haiti during the immediate aftermath of the Haitian Revolution. But while France finally agreed to acknowledge Haitian independence in 1825, the United States, driven by Southern politicians’ panic and intransigence, continued its policy of non-Â� recognition. In the wake of various slave revolts in the US, Southerners worried that recognizing Haiti would be a tacit endorsement of slave rebellion and therefore ferociously opposed the idea of establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Black republic.33 By the late 1830s, however, Black leaders’ opposition to the government’s stance was mounting. In fact, Black activists’ strong endorsement of Haitian independence remained consistent throughout the antebellum era. Theirs was a position deeply connected to the Black freedom struggle in the United States, since the US’ denial of Haiti not only threatened the notion of Black autonomy, but it also bolstered the South’s mission to strengthen slavery. As a result, in 1837, Charles Ray, editor of the Colored American, expressed his frustration about the government’s policy toward Haiti in the pages of his own newspaper. “In most other countries we have ministers, or at least consuls, to watch over the interests of our merchants; but to send a minister or consul to St. Domingo, would be so revolting to the feelings of our Southern brethren, that they would probably threaten to dissolve the Union.â•›.â•›.â•›.” In 1838, he issued another editorial emphasizing the importance of Haitian independence, and pleading with Black activists to pressure the US government to honor their status as a legitimate nation. Haiti must be acknowledged, and an honorable consular relation established .â•›.â•›. Every patriotic and philanthropic citizen should petition Congress for the recognition of Haitien Independence. If it is important that we should have amicable relations and interchange national courtesies with

66  •  Alexander any nation, it is so in regard to Haiti, a country that has won its freedom and independence and established them against the world. The following year, the paper made a similar appeal focused on the need for Northern politicians to recognize Haiti’s autonomy. As Ray explained, “It is our interest to acknowledge Haytian independence .â•›.â•›. if our northern representatives refuse to acknowledge Haytian independence, they will in these matters .â•›.â•›. [be] submissive to the very whims of their southern task masters.”34 Beyond the issue of Southern racism, Ray also argued that the United States’ position was completely unjustified since Haiti had been independent for more than thirty years, they had established themselves as a democratic republic, and the US profited tremendously from their trade relationship with Haiti. .â•›.â•›. we cannot but notice the unaccountable policy of our Government, towards Hayti. We are generally foremost in the acknowledgment of every Republic .â•›.â•›. But here is a Republic of more than thirty years standing, which has maintained its independence, without invasion or insurrection. Their Constitution and laws, are modeled after our own – yet we have, at one Session after another, of our National Legislature, taxed our wits, for excuses not to acknowledge Hayti; until they having removed them all, we stand forth in the eyes of the world, without an apology for withholding this act of justice, from a neighbouring nation, and one with which we hold a commercial intercourse annually, amounting to several millions, and greater than most other foreign powers. The financial issue, in particular, remained a point of contestation within the Black leadership, since they clearly found the United States’ policy hypocritical in that regard: how could the US justify strong trade relations, while simultaneously denying diplomatic recognition? Moreover, after the Haitian government imposed taxes on all commercial interactions with countries that refused to acknowledge them, the US position began to border on the absurd. “It is our interest to acknowledge Haitian independence, because .â•›.â•›. we actually pay one hundred and one thousand dollars per annum, rather than acknowledge her to be – what she is without our acknowledgment – an independent power.”35 Significantly, the Colored American newspaper used a third strategy to highlight the contradiction of the United States’ policy. Ray argued that the government was, in fact, obligated to honor Haitian independence because the US had won its own independence during the Revolutionary War only due to the participation of soldiers from Saint Domingue. But there is another and a stronger reason why we should be foremost in recognizing Haytian independence – a reason which Hayti is too proud to urge, we too republican to remember – to which southern chivalry must yield, or acknowledge itself recreant to its own code of honor – a reason which goes home with tenfold force to the south, a great portion of which almost owes its very being, as a portion of the Union, to Haytian succor in

“The Black Republic”  •  67 an hour of peril. In our late war with Great Britain, it will be remembered that the most glorious event was the battle of New Orleans, on January 8th, 1815.â•›.â•›.â•›. In that action, 200 men or nearly ONE-Â�SEVENTH PART OF THE TROOPS ENGAGED, WERE VOLUNTEERS FROM ST. DOMINGO! And these men, in Gen. Jackson’s own words – “manifested great bravery” in the action.36 Despite the obvious logic in the Black leadership’s argument, the US government remained stubbornly determined to uphold their position toward the Haitian republic. In an ongoing concession to the South and the law of Southern slavery, the US persisted in their nonsensical arrangement with Haiti; they continued to participate in commercial endeavors, but turned a blind eye toward the republic in all diplomatic matters. As a result, by the end of the 1830s, as Black activists and White abolitionists grew increasingly frustrated with governmental policy at home and abroad, they bombarded Congress with petitions demanding Haiti’s recognition. In fact, between 1838 and 1839, Congress received more than 200 petitions in favor of Haitian independence.37 While petitioning was a form of political activism that Black leaders had used since the colonial era, it was a particularly strategic method in this case because it simultaneously achieved two goals. Not only did it force Congress to address the issue of Haiti, it also placed the issue of slavery on the Congressional agenda at a time when there was a “gag rule” in effect against all anti-Â�slavery petitions.38 Southern politicians actually saw right through this attempted ruse, and responded angrily to this movement. Hugh Swinton Legaré of South Carolina argued, for example, that such petitions were equal to declarations of war on the South: “They are treason. Yes, sir, I pronounce the authors of such things traitors – traitors not to their country only, but to the whole human race.”39 Southern opposition to Haiti increased when Congressman (and former President) John Quincy Adams petitioned Congress to recognize Haiti. Although Adams had not extended diplomatic relations to Haiti during his reign as President, in 1839 he was finally willing to concede his earlier views. In so doing, however, Adams suffered severe attacks from his colleagues. Following Adams’ presentation of his petition, Congressman Henry A. Wise of Virginia “rose in reply.” Wise vehemently attacked the proposal, arguing that it was “part of the abolition scheme,” and was tantamount to recognizing “an insurrectionary republic on our Southern coast.”40 A lengthy battle ensued, in which Southern slaveholders successfully fought off abolitionists’ efforts to force Congress to recognize Haiti. As a result, as the decade of the 1840s dawned, Jean Pierre Boyer and his fledgling republic remained diplomatically isolated from the United States. Perhaps due to their frustrating defeat in the halls of Congress, abolitionists were comparatively silent about Haiti in the 1840s. Yet Black activists did their best to keep Haiti’s interests in the public discourse. In 1841, for example, James McCune Smith – abolitionist, suffragist, and physician – delivered a compelling

68  •  Alexander speech about Haiti, in which he presented his own historical timeline, documenting the events of the Haitian Revolution. In some ways, it was a romantic praise-Â�song of the revolution; but mostly, it was a subtle critique of the ways in which the Haitian republic was effectively manifesting democratic principles and the United States was not. In his conclusion, Smith suggested that Americans had something to learn from the Haitian example: “far from being scenes of indiscriminate massacre from which we should turn our eyes in horror, these revolutions constitute an epoch worthy of the anxious study of every American citizen.”41 Unfortunately, Smith’s argument became more difficult to make in the years that followed. Beginning in 1843, there were a series of military coups in Haiti. President Boyer was driven into exile, and over the next several years there were numerous short-Â�lived presidencies culminating in the election of Faustin Élie Soulouque in 1847. Once the political turmoil temporarily stabilized, Black activists began, again, to lodge their complaints about the US government’s policy towards Haiti. As in previous years, critics clearly identified the link between Southern slaveholders’ political power and the persistence of racism, both of which determined US relations with Haiti. In 1849, abolitionist and newspaper editor Samuel Ringgold Ward attacked the government for its blatantly racist policies. Now one of the “customs” of our Government is to refuse to acknowledge the independence of a Republic, the majority of whose citizens are black men, lest such an acknowledgement should offend negro haters in Washington by introducing a black minister into the society of the Capitol. This is the reason why our Government has not recognized the independence of Hayti, a Republic half a century old. A Republic, too, that has done more to prove its capacity for self government .â•›.â•›. than the United States.42 Similarly, Frederick Douglass unabashedly blamed slaveholders, the system of slavery, and racism for the government’s tenacious refusal to establish diplomatic relations with Haiti: “Our Government, under the influence of the violent slaveholders, has stubbornly refused to recognize Haiti, and thus severely injured the flourishing commerce we once carried on with that Republic .â•›.â•›. This is really too contemptible for a Government that has any pretensions to common intelligence. It is paying rather too much to gratify the colorphobia of a few fanatics.” Just several months later, in a stunning critique of the “Slave Power,” the Southern political machine, Douglass again vented his frustration with the Haitian situation. “With the meanness, as well as the insolence of tyranny, it [the Slave Power] has compelled the federal government to abstain from acknowledging the neighbor republic of Haiti, where slaves have become freemen, and established an independent nation.”43 While Black activists continued to lambast the US government’s non-Â� recognition of Haiti, and contrasted free democratic Haiti with the tyrannical slaveocracy in the southern United States, this argument became more difficult to make, as Faustin Soulouque’s rule became increasingly despotic. Late in 1849, President Soulouque was named Emperor Faustin I, and was officially crowned

“The Black Republic”  •  69 in 1852. This was not simply a change in name. The decision to embrace the title of emperor was a reflection of the fact that the Haitian government was moving away from its democratic republican values toward the vision of an empire. Faustin I emphasized class hierarchy, created a secret police and a personal army to destroy his opponents, and the government became more imperialistic in its foreign relations. Most notably, Faustin I launched a series of attacks against Santo Domingo, which had gained its independence in 1844. In the face of such disturbing political trends, Black activists found it difficult, although not impossible, to criticize American policy. In 1850, Frederick Douglass publicly blamed the US government for the political problems in Haiti. In his view, Faustin only turned to despotism because the US and other nations refused to acknowledge Haitian independence. What has our Government done in the Case of Haiti? It has scouted, with the most provoking contempt, any act, looking to welcome the Black Republic into the sisterhood of nations, until at length, that Republic, disgusted with the very name of Republicanism, abandoned all show of it; and put on the robes of Imperialism, finding as she has found, far more justice, honor, and magnanimity among European despots, than she has been able to find among American Democrats.44 In this clever reflection, Douglass not only distanced himself from Faustin’s policies, but diverted attention away from Haiti’s internal problems onto the failure of America’s foreign policy. Fortunately, Haiti’s diplomatic case finally received some additional support in 1852. Despite Faustin I’s controversial policies, a group of White Boston merchants petitioned Congress to recognize Haiti.45 Although the businessmen’s actions were driven solely by their commercial interests and financial investments in Haiti, rather than anti-Â�slavery principles, Black activists and their White abolitionist allies seized upon this development as an opportunity to advance their cause. The abolitionist newspaper the Liberator published a series of articles about the merchants’ petition, including a statement from the New York Evangelist that bemoaned the persistence of racism in American society. The author predicted that the Haitian petition would be denied and racism would ultimately prevail, simply because American society was not yet ready for change. “Will the petition of the Boston merchants prevail? We doubt it; the Haytiens are guilty of black skins – They are good customers; they have shown their right to a place among the nations by achieving their independence; they are recognized by everybody else – but they are black, that will doom them to our neglect forever.”46 In the end, the New York Evangelist was correct. The petition was denied, and nearly a decade would pass before the United States finally recognized Haiti. Regardless of such setbacks, anti-Â�slavery advocates continued to press the issue of Haiti’s diplomatic status. In 1855, both Frederick Douglass and Senator Charles Sumner delivered searing critiques of the US government’s non-Â� recognition policy, both blaming (as their predecessors had) the “Slave Power”

70  •  Alexander and racial discrimination for Haiti’s position as a diplomatic outcast. Frederick Douglass stated that the US government possessed a “Negro-Â�hating disposition” that caused it to display “ungenerous, dishonorable and despicable conduct” in its relations with Haiti. In particular, he pointed to the hypocrisy of the United States’ booming commercial relations with Haiti that existed alongside the government’s refusal to “acknowledge their independence, and bid them an honorable welcome to the family of nations.” Similarly, Charles Sumner blamed “The Slave Oligarchy,” which he argued had forced the government to “abstain from acknowledging the neighbor republic of Haiti, where slaves have become freemen and established an independent nation.”47 It was, perhaps, largely due to these very issues – the “Slave Power” and the tenacity of American racism – that by the 1850s some Black leaders demonstrated their support for Haiti, and their frustration with the United States by revisiting the emigration movement. Early in the decade there were rumblings of support for Haitian emigration. In 1853, Boston shipping tycoon Benjamin Cutler Clark advocated for emigration in a publication entitled “Plea for Haiti,” and in the same year Black activist James Theodore Holly made a brief endorsement for emigration at a national convention. Holly continued to push the notion of Haitian emigration at the 1854 National Emigration Convention, which activist Martin Delany organized in Cleveland. Even so, the gathering concluded without a clear consensus among the delegates about their position toward Haiti. Instead, the Convention’s National Board of Commissioners imbued Holly with the power to assess conditions in Haiti and determine the feasibility of a large-Â�scale migration.48 Thus, in 1855, Holly departed for Haiti and during his visit was afforded the opportunity to meet with Faustin I. Holly presented the Haitian government with a detailed plan for emigration, including requests for land, citizenship, religious freedom, exemption from military service, and a series of other financial inducements. Unfortunately, however, the emperor was reluctant to agree to all of the terms, and instead provided a vague, obligatory statement in which he simply noted that the Haitian government would always be receptive to African American migrants. Despite Faustin I’s less than enthusiastic response, Holly continued to champion the virtues of Haitian emigration upon his return to the United States.49 For the next two years, Holly attempted to seek support – both financial and political – for his endeavor. Yet it was not until 1857 that his movement began to garner support. In that year, he published a pamphlet about the Haitian Revolution and the benefits of emigration in which he argued that African Americans in the US should unite with the people of Haiti to create a powerful demonstration of Black Nationalism. Our brethren of Hayti, who stand in the vanguard of the race, have already made a name, and a fame for us, that is as imperishable as the world’s history.â•›.â•›.â•›. It becomes then an important question for the negro race in

“The Black Republic”  •  71 America .â•›.â•›. to contribute to the continued advancement of this negro nationality of the New World until its glory and renown shall overspread the whole earth, and redeem and regenerate by its influence in the future, the benighted Fatherland of the race in Africa.50 To further advocate Haitian emigration, members of the Cleveland Convention created a printing company in 1857 and published the African-Â�American Repository, edited by seasoned activist James Whitfield, to generate funds and support.51 By 1858, Holly was traveling extensively throughout the North promoting the movement. On at least one occasion, he reported that several thousand people were already preparing to depart. Moreover, his efforts apparently garnered the attention of Faustin I’s government because the emperor sent a representative, Colonel Emile Desdunes, to encourage African American emigration from various locations including New Orleans and Missouri.52 Yet before Faustin I’s plans were able to fully materialize, a monumental event occurred within the Haitian government. In January of 1859, Emperor Faustin I was deposed by a military coup d’état. Fabre Geffrard led a successful revolt against the Haitian leadership, ousted Faustin I, and re-Â�established a republican government. Within days, Faustin I’s removal was celebrated in the abolitionist newspaper National Era, and American newspapers watched the developments over the next several months with keen interest.53 The New York Times, for example, initially expressed reservations about the viability of Geffrard’s new government, implying in veiled language that Americans should not have high expectations about the potential of any Black-Â�led government: “to look for a stable Republican government in that part of the Island, would be to anticipate more from its peculiar inhabitants than experience has taught us to expect from other republics of mixed white and African races, and certainly more than we are prepared to hope for from such a population as that of Hayti.”54 Just a few months later, however, the New York Times was decidedly more supportive. The editor highlighted the Haitian population’s widespread enthusiasm about Geffrard, and lauded the new government for its efforts to repair the damage that Faustin I’s regime had done to Haiti’s economy and infrastructure. Moreover, the article claimed that there had never been a “better commencement” to a new government and predicted that Haiti would “thrive under President Geffrard’s rule.” Perhaps the newspaper’s change of heart was motivated by Geffrard’s emigration program. In the spring of 1859, President Geffrard unveiled an incentive program that was nearly identical to President Boyer’s plan nearly thirty years prior, in which he agreed to provide land, citizenship, education, financial inducements, and travel stipends to American Blacks willing to relocate to Haiti. The New York Times marveled at the program, and repeatedly expressed bewilderment about why African Americans would choose to stay in the United States if Haiti was a viable option. Why, one article posed, would Black people remain “obstinately averse to emigration,” when they are treated as an “inferior caste in the Free as well as the Slave States?” Despite

72  •  Alexander the persistence of slavery, racism, and injustice, the paper maintained, African Americans mysteriously clung to the United States “with most tenacious attachments.” Clearly, the editor argued, free Blacks should avail themselves of Geffrard’s offer and escape to a country where they could find relief from the “prejudice which crushes him here.”55 Throughout the summer of 1859, American newspapers such as the Daily National Intelligencer expressed enthusiasm for Geffrard’s government and the prospect of Haitian emigration. In September, the New York Times dedicated an entire column to a discussion of the advancement under Geffrard’s leadership including political restructuring and educational reform. The Times also reprinted a lengthy document, which one of Geffrard’s representatives had issued, entitled “Call for Emigration.” The call highlighted the emigration plan’s main stipulations, all of which addressed the main concerns that emanated from within the Black community. Geffrard emphasized Haiti’s rich natural resources, and offered financial incentives (including free transportation and lodging), religious freedom, education, and exemption from military service. Perhaps most significantly, however, his message echoed the early Pan-Â�African sentiment that Boyer had articulated in the 1820s. He stated his sincere desire to help African Americans escape the bonds of slavery and racism, and provide them with equality and citizenship. In Geffrard’s view, their common “African blood” linked free Blacks and Haitians in a common destiny and he sought to provide a home for all “members of the African race,” where they could find refuge from persecution and enjoy all their “civil and political rights.”56 There is no way to unequivocally determine why the New York Times supported Geffrard and his emigration scheme. Were they inspired by benevolence, or were they hoping to rid the United States of its free Black population? Regardless, even if the editors of American newspapers such as the New York Times had ulterior motives, it did not prevent many Black activists from endorsing emigration themselves. In fact, Black newspapers also became an important outlet for the articulation of emigrationist thought. Inspired by Geffrard’s plan, James Holly reinvigorated his movement in the pages of the Anglo-Â�African Magazine in late 1859. Holly created a seven-Â�part series entitled Thoughts on Hayti, in which he articulated his vision regarding the benefits of a full-Â�scale migration of African Americans to Haiti. As in his previous publications, Holly emphasized the importance of creating a Black nation “capable of commanding the respect of all the nations of the earth.” For Holly, of course, Haiti was the ideal location to build the “strong, powerful, enlightened and progressive” republic he envisioned, and urged free Blacks to participate in this exciting project. Black Americans would play a critical role in this process according to Holly, because he believed “a successful emigration of colored people from this country to Hayti will exert a reflex influence on the condition of the slaves in this country, and on the destiny of the negro race throughout the world, that shall secure in the speediest manner, their ultimate disenthrallment and complete political regeneration.” In his view,

“The Black Republic”  •  73 regenerating Haiti would not only prove beneficial to the Haitian people, but would liberate all African people. It would decisively silence notions of Black inferiority, and ultimately be powerful enough to “not only uproot American slavery, but also overthrow African slavery and the slave-Â�trade throughout the world.”57 Holly’s empowering vision of Haitian emigration was, indeed, tempting to many activists during this era, and the movement attracted several additional spokesmen. The first supporter was a rather unlikely candidate, White British abolitionist James Redpath. In January of 1859, Redpath visited Haiti to investigate the governmental structure and general conditions in the country. He traveled through Haiti for two months, during which time he witnessed the collapse of Faustin I’s regime and the rise of Geffrard’s government. Impressed with Haiti’s potential, and the country’s new leader, Redpath was converted to the cause of Haitian emigration. In his view, such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial; African Americans could escape slavery and racism in the United States, and Haiti would profit from the arrival of skilled, educated workers who were committed to nation-Â�building. Redpath soon arrived in the US with the goal of sparking an emigration movement. To his surprise, the Haitian emigration movement had already begun but he immediately found ways to contribute.58 With President Geffrard’s support, Redpath published a Guide to Hayti, which provided a detailed overview of Haiti’s history, geography, topography, and climate. More importantly, however, the second half of the book offered information about Haiti’s Constitution, its governmental structure, and issued a bold call for African Americans and all people of African descent to immigrate to Haiti to build a strong Black republic. Like Jean Pierre Boyer had done in the 1820s, Geffrard framed his appeal in early Pan-Â�African rhetoric. Hayti is the common country of the black race. Our ancestors, in taking possession of it, were careful to announce in the Constitution .â•›.â•›. that all the descendants of Africans, and of the inhabitants of the West Indies, belong by right to the Haytian family. The idea was grand and generous. Listen, then, all ye negroes and mulattoes who, in the vast Continent of America, suffer from the prejudice of caste. The Republic calls you; she invites you to bring to her your arms and your minds. The regenerating work that she undertakes interests all colored people and their descendants, no matter what their origin, or where their place of birth.59 However, Geffrard’s support for the emigration movement was not only in word; he provided Redpath with a $20,000 grant to open a Haytian Bureau of Emigration in Boston, which was officially operational by late 1860.60 Not surprisingly, the Bureau of Emigration’s first agent was none other than James Theodore Holly. After receiving his official appointment in November of 1860, Holly recruited migrants in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New Haven, before permanently settling in Haiti himself.61 Although Holly’s departure from

74  •  Alexander the US left a hole in the Bureau of Emigration’s leadership, other renowned Black activists soon replaced him. In October of 1860, Henry Highland Garnet met James Redpath in New York City, and helped him organize a series of lectures advocating for emigration. By year’s end, Garnet joined the Haitian Emigration Bureau as did William J. Watkins, activist and son of abolitionist William Watkins, and H. Ford Douglass, an abolitionist and former slave.62 Together, these men worked diligently over the next few years to promote the cause of the Haitian republic and the vision of emigration. Within the space of one year, their efforts proved highly successful. Not only did African Americans migrate to Haiti under the auspices of the Haitian Emigration Bureau, but many developed their own initiatives. For example Joseph Bustill, a teacher and abolitionist in Pennsylvania, recruited potential emigrants on his own, and even formed a settlement organization called the “Geffrard Industrial Regiment.” Likewise, James Duffin, an activist from western New York, began recruiting migrants in upstate New York, some of whom immigrated to Haiti and joined a settlement of African Americans in St. Marc.63 By the end of 1861, approximately 3,000 African Americans had departed for Haiti from various regions throughout the United States. American newspapers closely monitored their exodus from city seaports, and regularly published appeals from James Redpath that celebrated the emigration movement and encouraged more African Americans to participate. The New York Tribune reported that “the Haytien movement is vigorously pushed, and is daily increasing in favor with the class whom it is exclusively designed to benefit.” Even newspapers in relatively obscure locations, such as Bangor, Maine; Chillicothe, Ohio; and Lowell, Massachusetts promoted emigration and rejoiced in its progress. As a result, in October of 1861, the Daily National Intelligencer boldly declared: “The Haytien emigration movement is a success.”64 However, many in the Black community vehemently disagreed. There was considerable hostility within the Black leadership toward the notion of emigration, particularly after the Civil War erupted. Early in 1861, Black activists began expressing their frustration with the Haitian emigration scheme. George Downing denounced the movement on the grounds that it was attempting to “create in the minds of the colored people the impression that they cannot be anything in this country.” Likewise, James McCune Smith issued a passionate plea for Henry Highland Garnet to reconsider the ramifications of his decision. He criticized Garnet for abandoning the struggle for Black equality in the United States, citing a pledge they made to each other as young boys that they would unceasingly agitate until the battle for freedom and justice had been won. “Shake yourself free from these migrating phantasms, and join us with your might and main. You belong to us, and we want your whole soul.” In addition, Smith pointed out that since a similar plan had failed in the 1820s, Black Americans should not be unceremoniously “dumped on the shores of Hayti,” especially because, in his view, it was obvious that Black people wanted to remain in the United States and fight for abolition and citizenship: “our

“The Black Republic”  •  75 people want to stay, and will stay, at home; we are in for the fight, and will fight it out here.”65 Perhaps the most powerful voice opposing Haitian emigration was Frederick Douglass, even though he briefly contemplated emigration. In the spring of 1861, Douglass toyed with the notion of Haitian emigration, despite his previously strong anti-Â�emigrationist views. Apparently Douglass had grown despondent about political setbacks in the 1850s, particularly the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision, and had arrived at the painful conclusion that free Blacks might need to consider opportunities elsewhere. In the pages of his paper, Douglass declared that “the inducements offered to the colored man to remain here are few, feeble, and very uncertain.” As a result, in March of 1861, Frederick Douglass agreed to accompany Theodore Holly on a mission to investigate conditions in Haiti. Douglass sadly admitted, “We can raise no objection to the present movement towards Hayti.â•›.â•›.â•›. We can no longer throw our little influence against a measure which may prove highly advantageous to many families, and of much service to the Haytian Republic.”66 James McCune Smith, of course, attacked Douglass for his endorsement of emigration, sarcastically stating, “Frederick Douglass’s eyes appear dazzled with the mahogany splendor of the Boston [Haytian Emigration] ‘bureau.’â•›”67 Despite Smith’s criticism, however, Douglass became so enamored with the notion that he planned to visit Haiti to help plan a potential exodus of voluntary migrants. As he explained, “We propose to act in view of the settled fact that many of them [African Americans] are already resolved to look for homes beyond the boundaries of the United States, and that most of their minds are turned towards Haiti.” Yet, in a powerful stroke of fate, Douglass never made the journey to Haiti; before they had a chance to embark, shots were fired at Fort Sumter and the Civil War commenced. The war prompted Douglass and many other Black leaders to relinquish their emigration schemes and refocus attention on the United States, in hopes that slavery might be vanquished and the battle for suffrage might eventually succeed. As Douglass explained, “This is no time for us to leave the country.â•›.â•›.â•›. We shall stay here and watch the current of events, and serve the cause of freedom and mankind.” In July of 1861, Frederick Douglass simply declared bluntly and unequivocally: “I am not an Emigrationist.”68 In many ways, Frederick Douglass’ ideological shift reflects the predominant pattern among Black leaders; even those who initially endorsed Haitian emigration soon became consumed with the possible demise of slavery following the outbreak of the Civil War, and quickly shifted their attention back to the domestic scene. Moreover, anti-Â�emigrationist sentiment was also bolstered by increasing reports about similar problems that had plagued the movement in the 1820s. Emigrants sent messages back to the United States about poor conditions, flawed land distribution programs, and conflict between Black settlers and Haitians – especially linguistic and religious differences. For example, Joseph Bustill’s “Geffrard Industrial Regiment” disbanded after receiving “gloomy

76  •  Alexander reports” about conditions in Haiti. As they observed the growing reverse migration back to the US, most of the potential migrants in his group became uneasy and eventually withdrew from the plans. Likewise, the attempt to create a Black settlement on Ile A’Vache, an island off the coast of Haiti, also ended in utter failure in 1863. Therefore, as in previous decades, the enthusiasm for emigration eventually disappeared.69 Finally, more than a year after the Civil War commenced, the Haitian emigration movement reached a definitive end. Even staunch emigrationists had a change of heart. Although Henry Highland Garnet initially continued to support the Haitian project, he reunited with his childhood friends James McCune Smith and George Downing in May of 1862, and declared that the abolition of slavery must be the Black community’s primary focus. Moreover, by 1864, Garnet was actively recruiting Black soldiers to fight with the Union.70 Likewise, James Monroe Whitfield, the editor of the pro-Â�emigration newspaper, the Afric-Â�American Repository, also recanted his earlier endorsement for emigration in 1862. Although he previously claimed that Black American patriots were “fools,” Whitfield pleaded with free Black men to enlist in the military so the Union could have “the greatest and most valiant army the world ever saw.”71 Founding members of the Haytian Emigration Bureau, such as James Redpath and H. Ford Douglass, also severed their relationships with the movement; Douglass enlisted in the Union army, and Redpath became a military correspondent.72 As a result, by the end of 1862, it was clear that most activists had abandoned the Haitian emigration project and were refocusing their energy on fighting slavery in the United States. Ironically, however, the year 1862 also signaled the dawn of new hope for the Haitian people. At long last, the United States government finally agreed to recognize Haiti’s independence and extend official diplomatic relations. Once the South seceded from the Union, there was no longer any compelling reason for the US to ignore Haiti’s existence. Moreover, in late 1861, President Lincoln received communication from the government’s commercial agent in Port-Â�auPrince that the American economy would suffer if the Union continued to deny Haiti’s independence. As he explained, the government’s non-Â�recognition policy was “altogether disastrous to the interests of our commerce, & almost destroys the political influence of our government & its commercial agents.” As a result, in December of 1861, Lincoln concluded that they should reconsider their position. In a statement to Congress he wrote, “If any good reason exists why we should persevere longer in withholding our recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Hayti .â•›.â•›. I am unable to discern it.”73 Despite his initial support for the notion of recognizing Haitian independence, Lincoln and the Union government did not take immediate action. On the contrary, the issue dragged on for nearly a year until it finally came before Congress. Senator Charles Sumner, who had criticized the government’s policy toward Haiti in 1855, strongly advocated on behalf of the measure, arguing that acknowledging Haiti would be an important step in destroying the vestiges of

“The Black Republic”  •  77 slavery.74 Not surprisingly, there was significant opposition to the bill, but in June of 1862 President Lincoln finally enacted the law recognizing Haiti and appointed the first Haitian commissioner. The Liberator newspaper celebrated the decision, declaring, “It means that this Government henceforth recognizes Blacks as citizens, capable of a National life; not as chattels who have no rights which white men are bound to respect.”75 However the Liberator might have been a bit too hasty in declaring victory. In the United States, of course, racism and the legacy of slavery proved more difficult to destroy than Black activists and their White supporters might have hoped. Moreover, the complex relationship between African Americans, Haiti, and the United States government persisted for more than a century. Even though the Civil War brought a legal end to slavery, African Americans still had to fight throughout the twentieth century to have their humanity and citizenship officially honored. Similarly, although the US finally recognized Haitian independence, most Americans remained unwilling to fully recognize the humanity and equality of Haiti and its people. In a poignant twist, these struggles were often intertwined and persist well into the twenty-Â�first century. Notes ╇ 1 The author would like to thank Dr. Kevin Meehan, Director of the Haitian Studies Project at the University of Central Florida, for his extremely insightful comments. My research has benefited tremendously from his suggestions and feedback; I will be eternally grateful. ╇ 2 Haytian Emigration Society, Address of the Board of Managers, 3. Throughout this chapter, the reader will notice that “Haiti” is spelled in various ways. In the nineteenth century, Americans used numerous different spellings, resulting in the appearance of terms such as “Hayti,” “Haytien,” “Haytian,” and even “Haitien.” In order to retain historical accuracy, the original spellings in these documents remain. ╇ 3 Fanning, “Roots of Early Black Nationalism,” 67–8. ╇ 4 Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty, 193. ╇ 5 Winch, Gentleman of Color, 211. Ironically, Henri Christophe was not pleased with Saunders’ decision to publish the Haytian Papers. Despite Saunders’ overt praise for Christophe’s leadership, Christophe was angered by the fact that Saunders did not gain his permission before writing the document. As a result, Christophe dismissed Saunders as his royal advisor and Saunders returned to the US. Even so, Saunders continued to promote Haitian emigration, but it was not until shortly before Christophe’s death in 1820 that the two men finally healed their relationship. ╇ 6 Saunders, Address Delivered at Bethel Church; Saunders, Memoir; Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty, 192; Winch, Gentleman of Color, 212. ╇ 7 Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 75; Winch, Gentleman of Color, 213. ╇ 8 Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 77–8; Dixon, African America, 35; Alexander, African or American, 40–1. ╇ 9 Daily National Journal, December 25, 1824; Fehrenbacher and McAfee, Slaveholding Republic, 114. 10 Dewey, Correspondence, 18, 7; Dixon, African America, 35; Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 77–8; Alexander, African or American, 40–1. 11 Dewey, Correspondence, 7. 12 Niles’ Weekly Register, August 14, 1824; Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty, 193; Winch, Gentleman of Color, 214–16; Fanning, “Roots of Early Black Nationalism,” 75. 13 Haytian Emigration Society of Philadelphia, Information for the Free People of Colour, 4; Winch, Gentleman of Color, 217. 14 Dewey, Correspondence, 8, 9–10, 30; Haytian Emigration Society, Address of the Board of Managers, 3, 7; Baur, “Mulatto Machiavelli,” 325; Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 77; Dixon, African America, 36; Alexander, African or American, 41–3.

78  •  Alexander 15 Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 78. 16 Daily National Intelligencer, July 24, 1824. The only hesitation among Black activists in Richmond was on the issue of religion; they determined that they could not offer a full endorsement of emigration until they received assurance from Jonathas Granville that they would be allowed to worship freely. 17 Hunt, Remarks on Hayti, 11; Fanning, “Roots of Early Black Nationalism,” 75. 18 National Advocate, July 28, 1824. 19 Maryland Gazette and State Register, August 26, 1824. 20 Daily National Journal, September 11, 1824. For other examples of reports about emigration, see Maryland Gazette and State Register, October 21, 1824 and January 13, 1825; The Mississippi State Gazette, February 5, 1825. 21 Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 80. Emphasis is theirs. 22 Dixon, African America, 34, 40; Alexander, African or American, 43–4. 23 Miller, Search for A Black Nationality, 80–1; Baur, “Mulatto Machiavelli,” 326–7; Alexander, African or American, 43. For more on Peter Williams, Jr.’s reverse migration efforts, see Weekly Anglo-Â�African, January 12, 1861; Miller, Search For A Black Nationality, 108. 24 Raleigh Register, and North Carolina State Gazette, May 27, 1825. 25 United States Gazette, April 18, 1825; Winch, Philadelphia’s Black Elite, 57; Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty, 194. 26 Genius of Universal Emancipation, August 1825; Dixon, African America, 31. 27 Freedom’s Journal, October 12, 1827, July 13, 1827. 28 Ibid., July 13, 1827, October 31, 1828. 29 African Repository and Colonial Journal, Vol. 5 (April 1829). 30 Freedom’s Journal, July 11, 1828, February 14, 1829. John Russwurm’s quote in 1829 also appears in Johnson, Returning Home, 175. 31 For more about the Black leadership’s rejection of emigration and colonization, see chapters 3, 4, and 6 in Alexander, African or American. 32 Colored American, March 11, 1837; March 22, 1838. 33 Fehrenbacher and McAfee, Slaveholding Republic, 112–16. For more on the United States government’s early policies towards Haiti, see Logan, Diplomatic Relations; Matthewson, “Slavery and Diplomacy”; Matthewson, “George Washington’s Policy.” 34 Colored American, July 1, 1837; November 10, 1838; and February 2, 1839. 35 Ibid., March 18, 1837; February 2, 1839. 36 Ibid., February 2, 1839. Emphasis is theirs. 37 Fehrenbacher and McAfee, Slaveholding Republic, 117. 38 Although it was deeply contentious, the “gag rule” was one of the stipulations in the Pinckney Resolutions, which were passed in the House of Representatives in May of 1836. The gag rule explicitly stated that all petitions opposing slavery would be automatically tabled, and would not be read or discussed in Congress. In effect, the gag rule silenced all political opposition to slavery in the halls of Congress. 39 Legaré, Writings of Hugh Swinton Legaré, 322, 327; Fehrenbacher and McAfee, Slaveholding Republic, 117. 40 The Liberator, January 4, 1839. 41 Smith, Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions, 27. 42 Impartial Citizen, August 15, 1849. 43 North Star, January 5, 1849; October 5, 1849. 44 Ibid., June 13, 1850. 45 North American and United States Gazette, July 20, 1852. 46 The Liberator, August 6, 1852. 47 Frederick Douglass’ Paper, March 16, 1855; November 23, 1855. 48 Minutes and Proceedings of the General Convention, 2–3; Ripley et al., Black Abolitionist Papers, 5: 302; Miller, Search For A Black Nationality, 114, 161–2; Dixon, African America, 90–4, 96. James Holly was from Washington, DC, and was descended from three generations of free people. While still a relatively young man, Holly became deeply committed to abolition and racial justice and dedicated his life to racial advancement. For more on Holly’s early life, see Dixon, African America, 67–9. 49 Dixon, African America, 103–5. 50 Holly, Vindication.

“The Black Republic”  •  79 51 Rucker, “Unpopular Sovereignty,” 150. James Monroe Whitfield was born in Boston and raised in Ohio. As a young man, he advocated for Black westward migration and later became an ardent activist and renowned poet. For more on Whitfield’s early life, see Dixon, African America, 80. 52 New York Times, July 13, 1858; April 20, 1859. 53 The National Era, January 27, 1859. 54 New York Times, January 19, 1859. 55 Ibid., May 6, 1859; April 20, 1859. 56 Ibid., July 23, 1859; September 21, 1859; Daily National Intelligencer, July 2, 1859. 57 The Anglo-Â�African Magazine, vol. I, no. 11 (November 1859); vol. II, no. 1 (January 1860). 58 Dixon, African America and Haiti, 132–4. For more on Redpath, see chapter 4 of Dixon’s study. 59 Redpath, Guide, 5. 60 Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty, 262. 61 Dixon, African America, 148. As Brenda Gayle Plummer’s research revealed, James Holly remained politically active in Haiti until his death in 1911. For more on Holly’s life after his resettlement in Haiti, see Plummer, “Afro-Â�American Response,” 125–43; and Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers. 62 Anglo-Â�African Magazine, November 1859; Miller, Search For A Black Nationality, 108–9, 234–8, Dixon, African America, 148–9. For more on William Watkins’ background, see Dixon, African America, 149. For more on H. Ford Douglass’ political activism, see Harris, “H. Ford Douglas,” 217–34. 63 Ripley et al., Black Abolitionist Papers, 4: 333–4; 4: 400–1. Joseph Bustill was the son of abolitionist David Bustill of Philadelphia, and prior to his involvement in the Haitian emigration movement, he was an agent on the Underground Railroad. He labored tirelessly on behalf of fugitives, and reportedly assisted more than 1,000 enslaved people escape from bondage. James Duffin was an abolitionist and advocate of moral reform, who represented the town of Geneva at the National Colored Convention in 1843. During the 1840s and 1850s, Duffin agitated for Black male suffrage but after years of defeat, his frustration drove him to consider fleeing the United States. 64 New York Times, January 26, 1860; January 4, 1861; Lowell Daily Citizen and News, November 14, 1860; The New York Herald, December 14, 1860; The Scioto Gazette, December 25, 1860; Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, March 27, 1861; Daily Cleveland Herald, December 2, 1861; Daily National Intelligencer, October 14, 1861. 65 Weekly Anglo-Â�African, January 5 and 12, 1861; Alexander, African or American, 150–1. A portion of this quote also appears in Wilder, In the Company of Black Men, 174. 66 Douglass’ Monthly, March 1861; Alexander, African or American, 151. 67 Weekly Anglo-Â�African, January 12, 1861. 68 Douglass’ Monthly, May 1861; July, 1861; Miller, The Search For A Black Nationality, 240; Rucker, “Unpopular Sovereignty,” 153; Seraile, Afro-Â�American Emigration to Haiti, 191. 69 Ripley et al., Black Abolitionist Papers, 4: 333–4; Dixon, African America, 206. 70 Miller, Search for Black Nationality, 262. 71 Sterling, Making of an Afro-Â�American, 221–2; Rucker, “Unpopular Sovereignty,” 153. 72 Dixon, African America, 207; Harris, “H. Ford Douglas,” 229–30. 73 Logan, Diplomatic Relations, 297–8. 74 The Liberator, May 2, 1862. 75 Ibid., July 4, 1862.

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5

“A Revolution Unexampled in the History of Man” The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, 1827–1829 Jacqueline Bacon In the first issue of Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper, which appeared on March 16, 1827, editors Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm articulated the belief that the history and future of Haiti, like that of Africa, was key to the identity and the destiny of people of African descent. “If ignorance, poverty and degradation have hitherto been our unhappy lot,” Cornish and Russwurm asked readers, “has the Eternal decree gone forth, that our race alone, are to remain in this state, while knowledge and civilization are shedding their enlivening rays over the rest of the human family? The recent travels of Denham and Clapperton in the interior of Africa, and the interesting narrative which they have published; the establishment of the republic of Hayti after years of sanguinary warfare; its subsequent progress in all the arts of civilization .â•›.â•›. prove the contrary.”1 Just as Dixon Denham, Hugh Clapperton, and Walter Oudney’s 1826 Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa offered positive contemporary accounts about Africa and its inhabitants, so too did events in Haiti provide evidence that people of African descent could emerge as powerful leaders and self-Â�determining agents.2 This view of Haiti’s importance to world affairs generally and to African Americans in particular expressed by Cornish and Russwurm was a key component of the perspectives of black leaders and communities in the late 1820s. If Africa was, as Craig Steven Wilder asserts, “the physical source of their humanity and equality,” Haiti represented “the culmination of God’s plan for African freedom.”3 In particular, the Haitian Revolution and the island’s achievement of independence as a black nation exemplified the strength and self-Â� determination central to the vision of black leaders of the late 1820s, linked black people throughout the United States to each other and to people of African Material in this chapter was previously published, in modified form, in the chapter “Redemption, Regeneration, Revolution: Africa and Haiti,” in Jacqueline Bacon, Freedom’s Journal: The First African-Â�American Newspaper, Lexington Books, 2007, 147–75. Copyright © 2007 by Lexington Books. Reprinted by permission of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

82  •  Bacon descent throughout the world, and underscored a pan-Â�African sensibility that was key to antebellum African Americans’ sense of their role in national and world history. In the columns of Freedom’s Journal, the editors and contributors offered extended explorations of the significance of Haiti’s revolutionary history and its lessons for the United States and the world. As Cornish and Russwurm’s aforementioned statement indicates, articles in the newspaper about the history of the island and the revolution were clear in their rhetorical purpose. Haiti’s history proved that those of African descent were not destined to be oppressed forever, whether in the United States or elsewhere. Not only could they rise to greatness; they could be active and courageous participants in history, demonstrating the power of subjugated Africans to fight for and win the right to determine their own futures. As the editors and contributors to Freedom’s Journal featured the history of the Haitian Revolution, they engaged questions about what it meant to be African Americans, citizens of the United States devoted to fighting for their rights and to honoring black identities. The coverage of Haiti in Freedom’s Journal is significant because it allows us a unique window onto the importance of the Haitian Revolution and its heroic actors to antebellum black self-Â� consciousness and to the African American struggle for freedom and civil rights during the 1820s, a key period of black community building. Treatments of Haiti were multifaceted, thorough, and innovative, including texts written by various authors and selected by the editors to be reprinted for their readers. In this chapter, I examine four aspects of these texts. First, I examine how the coverage of the Haitian Revolution in the newspaper combined pan-Â�African identities with a commitment to American ideals, creating a unique sense of the identity of African Americans both as citizens of the United States and as members of a global community of people of African descent. I then turn to the ways that gender figured into narratives of the revolution and its heroes, exploring how these accounts linked ideals of masculinity and femininity to community, citizenship, and patriotism. I next examine how articles about the Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal illustrated conceptions among antebellum African Americans of the place of people of African descent in global history, with particular implications for African Americans as citizens of the United States. Finally, I explore coverage of current affairs in the post-Â�revolutionary, independent state of Haiti in Freedom’s Journal, in which the success of the revolution provided models of black leadership and suggested the potential of black nationalism. Before turning to Freedom’s Journals columns, a brief history of the newspaper is in order.4 Published in New York from 1827 to 1829, the periodical was edited by Cornish, pastor of New York’s First Colored Presbyterian Church, and Russwurm, a graduate of Bowdoin College, both of whom were free-Â�born African Americans. When Cornish resigned after six months, Russwurm assumed sole editorship of the newspaper. Freedom’s Journal was distributed throughout the North and parts of the South, with agents also in Haiti, England, and Canada;

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal  •  83 and it had both African American and white readers and subscribers. Its content was wide-Â�ranging, including news; literary and historical pieces; and opinion pieces about social and political issues such as slavery, colonization, self-Â�help, and gender roles. Although some historians have diminished the scope of the periodical by suggesting that its central aim was to fight slavery or counter racist white attacks,5 overemphasizing these objectives diminishes the scope and magnitude of Freedom’s Journal. The editors did not have a monolithic focus; their comprehensive goals were directed by the needs and concerns of African Americans themselves. “The end of slavery and social justice for free blacks were major objectives of the newspaper,” Kenneth Nordin argues, “but .â•›.â•›. its editors also had a broader journalistic objective: to produce a nationally circulated newspaper which would develop a sense of fraternity, a black consciousness” among African Americans throughout the United States.6 Cornish and Russwurm explicitly stated this inclusive approach to the periodical’s goals: “In short, whatever concerns us as a people, will ever find a ready admission into the FREEDOM’S JOURNAL, interwoven with all the principal news of the day.”7 News and correspondence from Haiti, where the newspaper was distributed in Port-Â�au-Prince, were part of this coverage. Because of the incredible breadth of subject matter and the impressive variety of viewpoints expressed in the newspaper, it was profoundly influential despite its short run, which ended in 1829 when Russwurm decided to leave the United States for the newly formed colony of Liberia. Both in terms of its impact on the African American community and on white and black leaders in the emerging abolition movement, Freedom’s Journal was a ground-Â�breaking publication. Many of those associated with the periodical went on to play prominent roles in African American history and the American antislavery crusade, and its exploration of issues such as slavery and self-Â�help laid the groundwork for generations of reformers who would follow. Furthermore, Freedom’s Journal allows us to comprehend African American life and thought of the late 1820s from a unique vantage point. Because the editors published articles by a variety of established writers, prominent black leaders and white reformers, as well as by those who were not famous and who often were unnamed, the periodical offers us an extended view onto the diversity and richness of opinion among African Americans of the late 1820s and reveals a range and depth of opinion on subjects that may otherwise be overlooked. Indeed, Freedom’s Journal, as Walter Daniel remarks, is “one of the most unimpeachable resources for black American life in the urban North” during the late 1820s.8 With this significance in mind, let us now turn to the columns of Freedom’s Journal. A detailed six-Â�part series of articles about the history and present condition of Haiti, which appeared in Freedom’s Journal in 1827,9 suggested that the heroism of both the Haitian revolutionaries and the island’s contemporary residents – which was defined by their bravery, altruism, and commitment to freedom and democracy – had both African and American roots. The author began, “As many of our New England friends believe, and practise the self-Â�evident truths, ‘that all

84  •  Bacon men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain inalienable rights[’] .â•›.â•›. perhaps a few lines on the past and present condition of a people, who have bravely burst asunder the galling chains of slavery, may be interesting to some of your readers.” The series described the island from its “discovery” by Columbus and its colonization by the Spanish and the French, through the slaves’ rebellion and the attainment of independence as a nation, to its present state. The oppression of the slaves of Saint Domingue was emblematic of the plight of Africa and the peoples of the Diaspora throughout the world: “When I reflect on the many cruelties inflicted by man on his African brother, my indignation is roused – my mind becomes confused – my hand trembles, and refuses to record my passing thoughts. Africa! Africa! ill fated country! What mind can conceive – what tongue express – what pen pourtray [sic] thy bleeding wrongs?”10 The “indignation” the author feels here is rooted both in a pan-Â�African identity and connection to other oppressed black people, yet the language of these passages – “self-Â�evident truths” and “inalienable rights” – also connects the Haitian revolutionists to America’s founders. In addition, the island’s slaves, the writer asserted, were naturally influenced by “the Revolutionary ferment” of the French Revolution and fired by “the flame of liberty” that had been “burning so intensely in the mother country.” Yet the revolution, the author stressed, should be seen not as a by-Â�product of the sentiment of the times but rather as a unique event, which demonstrated that those of African descent were not destined to be oppressed forever and proved that they could not only rise to greatness but also actively and uncompromisingly determine their own futures. Noting the first attempts at gaining freedom through rebellion – the aborted effort by Jacques Vincent Ogé in 1790 to lead the mulattoes to revolt – the author declared, “Thus were the first seeds of a revolution unexampled in the history of man sown .â•›.â•›. I conceive, that many who then took up arms in the defence of all that is dear to every one who thinks himself a man, never laid them down until the recent and partial acknowledgment of the island.”11 The sense that the Haitian Revolution was both connected to revolutionary sentiments throughout the world, including those which birthed the United States, and a unique expression of pan-Â�African identity and destiny was similarly expressed in an early article in Freedom’s Journal about the Haitian Revolution signed with the initial J. “The last half century will ever be regarded as a period in which changes the most interesting, and occurrences the most remarkable in the history of man have happened,” J. asserted, “and the revolution of St. Domingo, which developed the resources and aroused the energies of a people deemed but a step above the brute creation, is not the least remarkable and interesting.” Although “other revolutions have happened; other governments have been formed,” J. noted, these have taken place “under far different auspices.” “The American revolution which first led the way in asserting the great principles of liberty” and the French Revolution, were applauded by many; “the revolution of St. Domingo, which taught the world that the African, though trodden down in

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal  •  85 the dust by the foot of the oppressor, yet .â•›.â•›. still possessed the proper spirit and feelings of a man,” was not similarly supported. And yet, J. stressed, “against ‘fearful odds’â•›” the revolution succeeded. J. clearly connected this victory to the unique destiny of African people globally and linked black people struggling for their freedom around the world: “We have seen the establishment of an independent nation by men of our own colour; the world has seen it; and its success and durability are now placed beyond doubt.” Cornish and Russwurm also suggested that Haiti’s hard-Â�won freedom was an exceptional accomplishment. “The Haytiens, in declaring their independence, and their determination to maintain it, have done so in the face of the universe,” they asserted in an editorial in the newspaper’s first issue.12 As the masculine language of these articles suggests, manhood was part of the drive for freedom that inspired the heroes of the Haitian Revolution. As scholars have noted, ideals of masculinity for antebellum African Americans were not merely reflected in personal behavior or character; they were linked to citizenship and freedom and had political and communal implications. Because resistance to white oppression and active political participation were key components of self-Â�determination and citizenship, these traditionally masculine ideals were linked to freedom, equality, and service to the race.13 To be worthy of being called a “man,” then, required resistance to oppression such as was demonstrated by the slaves of Saint Domingue. As the author of the series on Haiti opined, “There is a point at which oppression sometimes arrives, when forbearance under it ceases to be a virtue.â•›.â•›.â•›. The people of colour had not deserved the name of men, had they tamely submitted.” In an 1828 editorial, Russwurm declared that “the Haytiens can look back on the past with great satisfaction; they have fought the good fight of Liberty” and can now “look forward to what man, even the descendent of Africa, may be, when blessed with Liberty and Equality and their concomitants.”14 Yet the editors of Freedom’s Journal stressed that successful self-Â�rule in Haiti was not only the result of the physical manifestations of ideal manhood displayed during the revolution but also dependent upon the intellectual ability and leadership skills required of an admirable male leader. In a three-Â�part biographical account of Toussaint L’Ouverture reprinted in the newspaper in May 1827 – which was first published in the British periodical the Quarterly Review15 – the editors offered readers an account of the leader’s courage, intelligence, and military and political leadership. Toussaint, the account demonstrated, was a skilled commander who successfully led his troops against the Spanish and British forces and who subsequently ruled the colony confidently and competently as governor. Yet he demonstrated not only physical strength and heroism but also the intellectual acumen and morality necessary for effective leadership. Toussaint’s discipline, fairness, and “the integrity of his character” earned him the respect and favor of those whom he governed. He was viewed as a “guardian angel” by the black residents of the colony, the author related, and was “a favourite of the whites, whose confidence he studied to gain, and who

86  •  Bacon were always invited to his private parties.” (These events, the author described, were respectable affairs that “might vie with the best regulated societies in Paris.”) Toussaint’s skills were not only political but interpersonal: “It is said that no one left his presence dissatisfied, though his request was not granted.”16 Under Toussaint’s governance, this author of this biographical sketch maintained, “the colony advanced as if by enchantment towards its ancient splendour.” Although the island was a French protectorate during Toussaint’s rule, the article made it clear that its success was due to his leadership. “The order and regularity established in the island among all ranks,” the author asserted, was due to “the influence and example of this singular man; the duties of morality and religion were strictly enforced, and the decencies of civilized life sedulously studied.” Toussaint was “particularly attentive to the means of reforming the loose and licentious manners of the females; and would suffer none of the white ladies to come to his court with the neck uncovered.”17 On both a political and moral level, Toussaint was an ideal man and an exemplary leader. The exhibition of masculine force and virtue that was key to Haiti’s attainment of successful black self-Â�rule depended upon intellectual, physical, and moral strength. Although they appeared less frequently, female heroes of the Haitian Revolution were featured as well in Freedom’s Journals columns, enabling contributors to link discourses of womanhood to those of nation and race in important, empowering ways. Scholars note that antebellum African American femininity, like masculinity, must be considered on its own terms and not viewed through the lenses created to study white women. Because African American women were called upon to work for the race in many ways and felt the communal and social implications of their gender roles, they often adapted and challenged the narrow boundaries of so-Â�called “traditional” womanhood.18 The four-Â�part “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” a fictional narrative written for the newspaper and published in its columns in 1828, featured a striking cast of racially identified female protagonists. Madame Paulina, “left a widow” during the Haitian Revolution, could not afford to be passive or retiring; “her greatest solicitude was for the safety of her daughters,” whom she had to protect from the approaching French troops and a “cruel and ignominous [sic] death.” Paulina was clever and resourceful, the author S. recounted, disguising herself as “a captain of the French army” and her daughters as prisoners, but it was Mademoiselle Theresa, her younger daughter, who carried the day. Realizing, as “she saw with the mind’s eye the great services which might be rendered to her country,” that she was called to act to aid “her countrymen in their righteous struggle for liberty and for independence,” she carried out an ingenious plan. Pretending “to be inattentive,” she listened when a military officer related to her mother “many military schemes, which were about being executed, and if successful, would, in all probability, terminate in the destruction of the Revolutionists, and, in the final success of the French power.” Theresa then traveled to the military camp of Toussaint L’Ouverture to relate this valuable intelligence.19

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal  •  87 S. was clearly conscious both of what would have been considered appropriate for these heroines and of the ways they pushed the boundaries of traditional femininity. S. described Paulina’s “maternal affection” and her unselfish devotion to her daughters which caused her to ignore “her own danger.” Theresa, in turn, weighed her duty to her mother and sister, who would be alarmed by her plans to leave them to journey to the military camp. Yet the situation clearly calls for feminine ideals to be refashioned for the sake of the race. As Frances Smith Foster notes, “The narrator emphasizes that under normal conditions, all three behave as beautiful, educated, and decorous women should.” Yet given the circumstances, as Foster explains, “Theresa’s self-Â�confidence allows her love of her country to trump her duty to gender decorum.” Theresa is not unmindful of the fact that her actions violate the dictates of gender, but she concludes that they were justified, even required. Explained S., “Recollecting again the important services, she had rendered her aggrieved country and to the Haytien people – the objects which prompted her to disobedience, which induced her to overstep the bounds of modesty, and expose to immediate dangers her life and sex,” Theresa concluded “that her conduct was exculpated, and self-Â�reproach was lost in the consciousness of her laudable efforts to save St. Domingo.” Indeed, Theresa’s actions offered a redefined feminine model – both selfless and daring, modest and militant – that allowed for service to the race and pride in contributing to her people’s struggle. Theresa was a true woman, a loyal patriot, and a racial exemplar; her actions, however bold, were to be celebrated.20 Articles about the Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal clearly conveyed the sense that the actors of the contest, both its military leaders and ordinary resisters, were part of a divine plan. This aspect of their coverage points to an important component of their historical worldview of antebellum African Americans, a perspective that illuminated the role of people of African descent in world history. God, antebellum African Americans believed, decreed that Africa and all of her descendents would be free and rise to the greatness that once distinguished Africa, as foretold in the often-Â�invoked Psalm 68:31: “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” The histories as well as the futures of peoples of African descent around the world were connected; African peoples, defined in a global, pan-Â�African sense, had a key role to play in the eventual triumph of freedom that would regenerate Africa and liberate oppressed Africans throughout the world. As Wilson Jeremiah Moses explains, African American historians of the early nineteenth century combined the “theological historicism that postulated the direct intervention of the hand of God in history” common to American historians of the time with a worldview that held out “the optimistic hope of racial redemption” and “offered reassurances of progress.”21 In Haiti, God’s plan for African freedom was manifested and furthered. The last installment of the six-Â�part series about Haiti published by the editors in 1827 affirmed, “The lesson inculcated by the Haytiens, will be a warning where man is held in bondage and degradation by his fellow – wherever he is denied the unalienable rights of nature. It will teach petty

88  •  Bacon despots, that in oppression, the chain has a certain length, which should they undertake to stretch, may snap – and bring death to the oppressor, and liberty to the captive.”22 Yet the coverage of Haiti in Freedom’s Journal stressed that although the plan for Haitian – and eventually global – freedom was ordained and guided by God, it was very much carried out through the active participation of these black revolutionists in fighting for their own freedom. God’s divine intervention and plan for human affairs did not, in the histories of Haiti presented in the newspaper, preclude direct, militant action on the part of the oppressed; in fact, the Haitian Revolution demonstrated that God gave humans agency to actively become part of the divine plan for liberation. The aforementioned article by J. about the Haitian Revolution stressed this interaction of human agency and God’s design for history. J. declared, “There is something in the firm establishment of a free government by those who but lately were in the bonds of slavery that strikes us as manifesting in a peculiar degree the interposition of Divine Providence.” The Haitians fought bravely, discovering in themselves “hidden powers” that were previously “unknown,” and they were aided by “the arm of HIM who is ever ready to protect the oppressed.” Contributor Amicus proposed in an 1827 article that African Americans should be inspired and motivated by the establishment of an independent black nation to realize the active role they were called to take in the United States and the world. Amicus proposed that the “African nation” – seen through the global, pan-Â�African nation lens – “needs something to be done for it, that it may be ‘exalted.’â•›” This effort rested on the shoulders of African Americans as well as those in Haiti: “At the head of this great nation are the free people in America. Behold them here, and in their own infantine republics. Their greatest resources are now in their hands.â•›.â•›.â•›. ‘The God of Heaven’ has appeared in their favour, and caused a day-Â� spring from on high to visit them.”23 Informed by the heroism of those in the “infantine republic” of Haiti, African Americans could and must take an active role in the future destiny of Africans throughout the world. Coverage in Freedom’s Journal of Haiti’s present state complemented the accounts of a heroic past and completed the vision of the revolution. If the revolution was to be considered a success and a harbinger of global liberation, the editors and contributors knew, it must be seen as ushering in a period of autonomous, effective black self-Â�rule. This emphasis constituted more than a counter to the proslavery contention that those of African descent must always remain a dependent people; it also provided an empowering example of black self-Â�determination and, as Alfred Hunt maintains, was a strong “symbol of black nationalism.” In the last two installments of the six-Â�part series on the island, which outlined the “present Government of Hayti,” the author underscored the central role of the Haitians in their own destiny. A “decidedly Republican” system, the government was elected and accountable, allowing Haitians to rule themselves. They also held their own in a global sense, the article suggested, remarking that Haiti’s “present foreign trade is considerable, giving in exchange

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal  •  89 for the manufactured goods of Europe and [American] produce, the natural productions of the soil.” If these affairs were managed correctly, Haiti and its supporters throughout the world could “indulge the pleasing hope” that “its trade will again revive, equal and even surpass its former prosperity.” The author explicitly noted what the past and present of Haiti exhibited to the world: “It is now demonstrated, that the descendents of Africa are capable of self-Â�government: the plea so often urged by the adherents of slavery, ‘the poor creatures, should we free them, will starve to death,’ will now be but ‘sounding brass’ in the opinion of every reasonable man.”24 Current news about Haiti was “highly important” to their readers, Cornish and Russwurm maintained. Yet they expressed their anger at those who, for base reasons, were less than truthful: “We caution the dissatisfied and envious in this country, who are continually forging ‘News from Hayti,’ to desist from their unmanly attacks upon a brave and hospitable people. Were our readers as well acquainted with their motives for venting their spleen as we are, they would give as little credit to their fabrications.” Because they would never publish “any news whatever, of a doubtful nature, concerning that island,” readers could “depend on” the coverage of Haiti in Freedom’s Journal. The “doubtful” reports and “unmanly attacks” to which Cornish and Russwurm referred were not just slanders of the Haitian people; they maligned all people of African descent as they reinforced white supremacist beliefs.25 Various proslavery commentators in antebellum America cited the island as ostensible proof that emancipation could only lead to disaster and that those of African descent needed to be governed by a strong hand.26 Articles in Freedom’s Journal countered these assumptions and provided empowering visions of black leadership. The “Foreign News” column of August 3, 1827, for example, contained a report about the “detection of a band of conspirators,” led by a Haitian lieutenant, against President Jean-Â�Pièrre Boyer and the successful disruption of their planned coup. Boyer’s proclamation on the event, which was printed in full, portrayed the aborted attempt not as evidence of Haiti’s instability but of its strength, pride, and efficiency. Boyer assured the island’s soldiers, “The crime of a few officers and subalterns, unworthy of marching by your side ought not to tarnish the honor of an army which deserve the gratitude of the nation, and which possess my entire confidence. Faithful to your duty, you will continue to sustain, in the opinion of the world, the immortal glory which you have acquired.” An article in the April 11, 1828 issue informed readers that news of a recent “reported insurrection at Aux Cayes .â•›.â•›. has been much exagerated [sic].” The response of the Haitian government to the “evil disposed persons” who attempted to “disturb the tranquility of the community” was swift and effective; a translation of an account in the Port-Â�auPrince newspaper the Feuille du Commerce declared, “As it is difficult to seduce Haytiens from the paths of honour .â•›.â•›. and as every one knows that our political existence depends upon our union, – these deluded men .â•›.â•›. could persuade no influential citizen to join their designs. A few hours were sufficient to disperse the assembly.â•›.â•›.â•›. [O]rder and tranquility have been perfectly restored.”27

90  •  Bacon Just as masculinity and freedom were connected in the history of the revolution, these contemporary military and governmental exemplars provided positive models of African manhood and countered demeaning images. African womanhood, too, was defended through the coverage of current affairs in Haiti. In particular, various articles described Madame Christophe, wife of the former King of Haiti Henri Christophe. After Christophe suffered a stroke and committed suicide in 1820, Madame Christophe left Haiti for England, subsequently settling in Italy. In May 1827, Freedom’s Journals editors reprinted an article from the Boston newspaper the Columbian Centinel which countered the coverage of Madame Christophe by the notoriously racist editor Mordecai Manuel Noah in his New-Â�York Enquirer. After citing Noah’s description of Madame Christophe as “a fat, greasy wench, as black as the ace of spades, and one who would find it difficult to get a place as a Cook in this city,” the article’s author D. defended her: “We are induced, from a personal acquaintance with Madame Christophe .â•›.â•›. to bear testimony against the above illiberal and unjust representation.” “The Ex-Â�Queen,” D. asserted, was “a good and virtuous wife, an affectionate mother, and an amiable friend,” who was “neat in her person,” and, during her reign, “when not compelled by etiquette to appear in regal attire, was very modest in her dress and deportment.”28 A series of articles reprinted from the New York newspaper the Albion in 1828 similarly portrayed the former queen in terms that suggest she was a proper woman committed to family and country. Describing a chance meeting with Madame Christophe in Florence, the author noted that even though she had seen “happier times,” she exuded “an air of suppressed dignity .â•›.â•›. which seemed to say, that she had made up her mind to forget her former situation, and bear with her present, if not with cheerfulness at least with resignation.” Proper, religious, and unassuming, Madame Christophe performed the offices of a good hostess to the author during his visit. Remarking that “there was nothing selfish about her,” the author maintained that she “seemed to regret more those she had lost” – her husband and children – “than the worldly advantages she had once enjoyed, and the high estate from which she had fallen.”29 Like the fictional Theresa, Madame Christophe is an exemplar of African womanhood, embodying a patriotic and selfless femininity. For readers of Freedom’s Journal, then, the history and present state of Haiti suggested a glorious future for Africans throughout the world. Haiti, a nation built by revolution and sustained through pride and self-Â�rule, was for African Americans a link to an honorable history and a harbinger of a glorious American future. As they celebrated Haiti’s past and present, they honored Africans’ role in history and carved out a unique destiny in the United States as free men and women, loyal citizens who would make their nation great by challenging it to honor its commitments. Haiti’s revolution and present destiny were linked to African Americans’ promising future and were part of the unfolding of history that, directed by God, would enable all African people throughout the world to be free and self-Â�determining. As Oliver Nash declared at a public dinner of

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal  •  91 African American Bostonians, the “Island of Hayti, the only country on earth where the man of color walks in all the plentitude of his rights” was “the cradle of hope to future generations.”30 Notes ╇ 1 Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm, “To Our Patrons,” Freedom’s Journal, March 16, 1827. In subsequent notes, Freedom’s Journal will be abbreviated FJ. ╇ 2 As this chapter will make clear, I disagree with Bruce Dain’s claims that Freedom’s Journal demonstrates an “abandonment by African-Â�Americans of Haiti as ideological model after the first emigration failed” and that, with a few exceptions, the coverage of Haiti in the newspaper was relatively inconsequential (“Haiti and Egypt,” 142). ╇ 3 Wilder, In the Company, 76–7, 150. ╇ 4 For a complete historical account, see Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 37–69. ╇ 5 Penn, Afro-Â�American Press, 27; Bryan, “Negro Journalism,” 8; Martin, “Pioneer Anti-Â�Slavery Press,” 527; Gore, Negro Journalism, 5; Wilson, Black Journalists, 27; Oak, Negro Newspaper, 122; Hirsch, “Negro and New York,” 444; Allen, Negro in New York, 82. ╇ 6 Nordin, “In Search of Black Unity,” 123. Others also argue that the conception of Freedom’s Journal as primarily an abolitionist newspaper is too narrow; see Tripp, Origins of the Black Press, 14–15; Hutton, Early Black Press, ix; McHenry, Forgotten Readers, 88; Foster, “Narrative,” 718–19. ╇ 7 Cornish and Russwurm, “To Our Patrons,” March 16, 1827. ╇ 8 Daniel, Black Journals, 185; on the influence of Freedom’s Journal on abolitionists and the newspaper’s significance as a source for understanding African American life and thought of the late 1820s, see also Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 4–5; McCarthy, “To Plead Our Own Cause,” 120; Newman, “Protest in Black and White”, 95; Fanuzzi, Abolition’s Public Sphere, 105; Sinha, “Black Abolitionism,” 243; Hinks, To Awaken, 179, 191. ╇ 9 The first two installments of this series were reprinted from the Christian Watchman, the weekly publication of the Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts, on December 1, 1826 and December 8, 1826. The remaining four articles were identified as original to Freedom’s Journal. Since they appear to have been written by the same author, we might speculate that perhaps, after submitting two articles to the Christian Watchman in 1826, the author found Freedom’s Journal – a venue obviously not yet in existence when these first two installments were published – a more appropriate place to publish the rest of the work. (It is also possible that the author offered or planned to submit the subsequent four parts to the Christian Watchman, which for some reason refused to publish them or that, after the first two installments appeared, a different author decided to continue the series in Freedom’s Journal.) 10 “Hayti, No. I,” FJ, April 20, 1827; “Hayti, No. II,” FJ, April 27, 1827. 11 “Hayti, No. II”; “Hayti, No. III,” FJ, May 4, 1827. 12 J., “Haytien Revolution,” FJ, April 6, 1827; Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm, untitled editorial, FJ, March 16, 1827. 13 Hine and Jenkins, “Introduction,” 2–3, 30–1; Horton and Horton, “Violence, Protest, and Identity,” 387, 391; Dorsey, “Gendered History,” 87–8; Booker, “I Will Wear No Chain!” 57–8; Wilder, In the Company, 123–7, 131–41; Horton, “Freedom’s Yoke,” 57. 14 “Hayti, No. II,” John B. Russwurm, “Hayti,” FJ, December 12, 1828. 15 This London quarterly was published in a New York edition as well. 16 “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” FJ, May 4, 1827; “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” FJ, May 11, 1827. 17 “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” May 11, 1827. 18 Perkins, “Black Women,” 317; Perkins, “Impact,” 18–19; Peterson, “Doers of the Word,” 15–17; Bacon, Humblest May Stand Forth, 47–50; Dabel, “I Have Gone Quietly,” 13–20. 19 S., “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” FJ, January 18, 1828; S., “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” FJ, January 25, 1828; S., “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” FJ, February 8, 1828; S., “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” FJ, February 15, 1828. Dickson D. Bruce, Jr. notes that “Theresa” was “one of the first lengthy pieces of fiction by a black American writer” and “perhaps the first attempt by an African American writer to create a black romantic heroine” (Origins, 172–3). Frances Smith Foster indicates that “Theresa” may be the first short story by an African American author, although she notes that “the ‘first’ [is] only the first until an earlier text [is] found” and registers her “concern about the relevance of any contest for primacy,” since, as she aptly notes, the focus in African American

92  •  Bacon

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Â� literary history should be the “most influential, representative, or creative texts” (“How Do You Solve,” 632–3). S., “Theresa,” January 18, 1828; Foster, “How Do You Solve,” 634; S., “Theresa,” February 8, 1828. See also Bruce, Origins, 173, on conventions of femininity in “Theresa.” Moses, Afrotopia, 53–5; see also Moses, Wings of Ethiopia, 102–3, 143–4, 214; Bay, White Image, 26–30; Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 163; Drake, Redemption of Africa, 49. “Hayti, No. VI. From the Scrap Book of Africanus,” FJ, October 12, 1827. J., “Haytien Revolution”; Amicus, “Kosciusko School. No. II,” FJ, June 15, 1827. On the notion of African Americans’ messianic role, see Moses, Afrotopia, 27, 238; Logan, “We Are Coming,” 27. Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 147; “Hayti, No. V,” FJ, June 29, 1827; “Hayti, No. VI.” Cornish and Russwurm, untitled editorial, March 16, 1827. Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 123–7; Bellegarde-Â�Smith, Haiti, 48–52. “Conspiracy Against the President of Hayti,” FJ, August 3, 1827; “Hayti,” FJ, â•›April 11, 1828. D., “Madame Christophe,” FJ, May 11, 1827. “Madame Christophe,” FJ, June 27, 1828; “Madame Christophe,” FJ, July 11, 1828. “Public Dinner in Boston,” FJ, October 24, 1828.

6

Antebellum African Americans, Public Commemoration, and the Haitian Revolution A Problem of Historical Mythmaking Mitch Kachun The year 2004 witnessed a great deal of scholarly, political, and media attention to the nation of Haiti. While much of the global press coverage revolved around the political and civil unrest resulting in the ouster of President Jean-Â�Bertrand Aristide, the entry of US troops, and subsequent efforts to stabilize the government, scholars and activists – especially those interested in the history of the African diaspora and the Atlantic world generally – also focused their attention on the bicentennial of Haitian independence. Numerous institutions across the Atlantic world held conferences or other events to commemorate and assess the slave uprising and revolution in the French colony of Saint Domingue that between 1791 and 1804 created the republic of Haiti. After generations of what historical anthropologist Michel-Â�Rolph Trouillot has described as the “silencing” of the event in western cultural, political, and historical discourse, the Haitian Revolution finally is receiving its historical due for sending shock waves through the Atlantic world and deeply affecting the course of global history.1 Haiti’s example of self-Â�liberation and independent governance was well known among antebellum African Americans, and, notwithstanding the new nation’s many difficulties, Haiti served as an inspiration for black Americans’ own quest for freedom. Of the various emancipatory events that antebellum black Americans celebrated with public commemorative observances, however, the absence of any organized public demonstrations commemorating the Haitian Revolution is conspicuous, if not altogether surprising. Given the horror with which white Americans viewed the events on Saint Domingue during the 1790s, and the persistence of that horror in American memory, African Americans must have realized that publicly identifying with the bloody slave rebellion and revolution would only alienate and infuriate those whose support they needed in This chapter is excerpted from Mitch Kachun, “Antebellum African Americans, Public Commemoration, and the Haitian Revolution: A Problem of Historical Mythmaking,” Journal of the Early Republic 26.2 (Summer 2006): 249–66, 268–9, 272–3. Copyright © 2006 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Reprinted with permission of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

94  •  Kachun their own struggle for liberty and equality. Perhaps more pointedly, public identification with the Haitian Revolution could have triggered more white violence against black public celebrations and black communities generally. Such violence was common. Black Americans’ public attempts to celebrate July 4, the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, New York State emancipation, and West Indian emancipation provided excuses for white mobs to harass and attack blacks in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. Such African American freedom celebrations rarely mentioned the revolution that created the Americas’ first black republic on January 1, 1804. As historian Caleb McDaniel has observed, while for antebellum abolitionists, black or white, “it would have been unthinkable not to think about the Haitian Revolution .â•›.â•›. [i]t was hard to know whether to treat it as a landmark or a landmine.” That the event was not prominent in blacks’ public commemorative festivals – even in the slave trade celebrations that shared the January 1 anniversary – suggests that African Americans consciously avoided connecting their public demonstrations to the Haitian Revolution.2 Nonetheless, numerous scholars have referred to antebellum African Americans’ public commemorations of the Haitian Revolution, but without ever providing convincing documentation. This chapter reviews the secondary historical literature that has uncritically asserted the existence of Haitian Revolution commemorations, traces those sources’ documentation, evaluates primary sources germane to the ostensible commemorations, and briefly suggests the issue’s broader implications for historical research and interpretation. This is important most fundamentally to correct an erroneous assertion about African American commemorative practices that has become pervasive, though unexamined, in scholarly literature, but this issue also raises broader questions regarding historians’ responsibilities to their sources and to the discipline. Haiti’s example of black self-Â�liberation and independence did, of course, have profound meaning for antebellum African Americans. The event and its heroes were widely admired, discussed, and written about by numerous black and white activists, including James McCune Smith, Wendell Phillips, and James Theodore Holly, among others. David Walker, in his 1829 Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, referred to Haiti as “the glory of the blacks and terror of tyrants.” The heroes of the Haitian Revolution, and especially the martyred Toussaint L’Ouverture, also stood as models of black manhood and self-Â�determination for African Americans. L’Ouverture was lionized in lectures, essays, biographies, and portraiture throughout the nineteenth century, exemplifying the qualities of leadership, independence, and sacrifice.3 And, in fact, the public sphere of the early American republic was not completely devoid of black actions inspired to some degree by the Haitian Revolution. In 1811 hundreds of slaves in Louisiana led by Charles Deslondes, a mulatto from Saint Domingue, burned plantations and marched on New Orleans before being subdued by the state militia. Historians have presented convincing evidence that the planned rebellion of Gabriel Prosser in Richmond, Virginia, in

Public Commemoration  •  95 1800, was informed by the revolutionary spirit of the age generally, and by the Haitian example in particular. In 1804, a mere six months after Haiti’s independence was achieved, a group of blacks in Philadelphia took to the streets to protest their exclusion from white July 4 festivities, knocking whites out of their way and “damning the whites and saying that they would shew them St. Domingo.” The violence associated with these acts was more than matched by the violent white responses to them. The aftermath of both the Gabriel and Deslondes conspiracies involved brutal punishments for the participants, severe restrictions on the enslaved population, and a harsh white backlash against blacks generally. In the Philadelphia case, the following year’s July 4 observance included white violence against any blacks found in the streets, and subsequent years’ anniversaries – in the City of Brotherly Love and elsewhere – saw continued efforts to remove blacks from the urban public space of the celebrations.4 African Americans at times did meet in their own private spaces to observe American Independence, and they sometimes acknowledged both their African roots and their sympathy with Haiti in that context. One group meeting in Boston in 1810 shared a series of toasts, including toasts to “the land of our forefathers,” to the “Government of the U. States,” and “Liberty to our African brethren in St. Domingo, and elsewhere.” In an oration at a public observance of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in 1823, the young black Philadelphian Jeremiah Gloucester heaped praise on the “brilliant exploits” of Haitian revolutionaries, emphasizing Africans’ agency in securing their own liberty and “proclaim[ing] the imprescribable rights of man” on the island. In 1828, when Boston blacks met to honor a visit by the formerly enslaved African Prince Abdul Rahaman of Footah Jallo, one of the evening’s toasts was offered in support of Haiti, “the only country on earth where a man of color walks in all the plentitude of his rights.5 Though examples like these attest to the meanings attached to the Haitian Revolution among nineteenth-Â�century African Americans, the revolution simply did not generate enthusiasm sufficient to outweigh the risk involved with public commemorative observances or celebrations. Black leaders consciously tried to avoid being connected with the images of blood and violence the mention of Haiti tended to generate in the public mind of white America. Even the more subtle repercussions resulting from the establishment of an independent black government in Haiti made whites in slaveholding societies like the United States extremely anxious. Brenda Gayle Plummer observed that “to the slaveholding world, the cultural differences between the black (Creole or African) and the white ‘common man’ exacerbated the unbearable political implications of black ascendancy.” Worse yet, revolution could be contagious, and a Caribbean basin ruled by a black majority would be anathema to white American economic and political leaders, especially to southern slaveholders for whom Haiti represented a gruesome racial nightmare.6 Contemporary American press accounts during the immediate aftermath of the revolution cited numerous examples of the “dance of death” inflicted upon

96  •  Kachun Saint Domingue’s whites by “â•›‘infuriated’ blacks” who thought nothing of murdering women and children. Weeks after Haitian independence was declared in 1804, the New York Daily Advertiser printed a “fragment” of an address ostensibly made by Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, Haiti’s first chief of state, in which citizens of the new republic were encouraged to “give to the nations a terrible, but just example of the vengeance which a brave nation ought to exercise” against “all those who would dare to try to ravish [our liberty] from us – let us begin with the French.” The same newspaper had earlier predicted that “there is reason to suppose that the Negroes will ultimately butcher all the French whites within their power.” Little wonder that black Americans might be reluctant to identify too closely, and too publicly, with the revolutionaries.7 Nonetheless, a number of scholarly works have asserted that black Americans of this era regularly held public commemorations of the Haitian Revolution. My research suggests that those celebrations simply did not take place. Not that these scholars set out to mislead or to distort – their statements were made in good faith – but perhaps they might have taken more care in verifying or interpreting sources. In no instance is the existence of Haitian Revolution commemorations integral to the larger arguments of the works in question; most references to ostensible commemorations of the revolution were made in passing, in the process of contextualizing more central aspects of those works. So calling attention to these errors does not challenge the scholarship, nor question the reliability of scholars. Rather, it raises concerns about how incautious source use and interpretation can lead to the construction of historical mythology, and, more fundamentally, sets the record straight on the issue of Haitian Revolution commemorations. This persistent misapprehension can be traced chronologically to its roots in both primary and secondary sources, beginning with the first secondary reference I am aware of, which is cited in several subsequent cases: Ira Berlin’s path-Â� breaking 1974 study of free blacks in the antebellum South, Slaves Without Masters. As with later references, Berlin’s larger argument really has nothing to do with Haitian Revolution celebrations or African American commemorative culture. His was the first major monograph examining the experiences of free blacks in the antebellum South and remains an important foundational study. As part of his demonstration of the importance of community institutions among antebellum free blacks in the South (churches, schools, benevolent societies, and the like), Berlin notes that “the holidays celebrated in these institutions reflected the freemen’s powerful desire for racial unity and equality. In 1825, Baltimore free Negroes met at the house of a leading African Methodist minister to celebrate Haitian independence.â•›.â•›.â•›. Later the celebration of Haitian independence spread to other Southern cities. In 1859, St. Louis masons rented a train to take them into the countryside to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Saint-Â�Domingue.” He then mentions that blacks “in several Southern cities” celebrated the abolition of slavery in New York. Given the context and the purpose of this section of the book and his larger argument about the importance

Public Commemoration  •  97 of black community institutions, Berlin had no reason to develop this point more thoroughly. This section suggests something of the varied functions that these institutions served, and Berlin uses primary sources to document specific events that indicate that blacks did celebrate Haitian independence and abolition. Given the context of his larger argument and the range of dates and geography between the 1825 Baltimore celebration and the 1859 St. Louis one, these sources seem sufficient to suggest that celebrations of the Haitian Revolution may indeed have “spread to other southern cities” during the antebellum years.8 Berlin is one of only two historians I have examined who relies solely on primary sources to reach conclusions about Haitian Revolution celebrations. His source for the Baltimore celebration is an account published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation, a Baltimore antislavery weekly published by Benjamin Lundy. A close reading of the article makes it clear that the August 17, 1825, meeting was called “to commemorate the acknowledgment of Haytien Independence by the Government of France,” which had taken place in July 1825. France had resisted recognition of Haiti’s independence since 1804, but after the new nation’s sovereignty was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, France entered into negotiations with Haitian leaders. Haiti rejected the harsh terms initially insisted upon by France, and after his accession to the throne in 1824, Charles X offered somewhat more amenable terms in hope of taking advantage of Haitian trade. Haiti was still required to pay a heavy indemnity, and in exchange France formally accepted the reality of an independent Haiti.9 In his address to the assembled guests at the 1825 Baltimore meeting, prominent educator and abolitionist William Watkins claimed to “recollect nothing so fraught with momentous importance .â•›.â•›. as the recent acknowledgement of Haytien Independence, by one of the European Powers.â•›.â•›.â•›. It is this circumstance .â•›.â•›. that [has] produced in our hearts those emotions of gratitude which we now offer as a feeble tribute of praise to Him who is Sovereign Ruler of the Universe.” The event, then, did not commemorate the revolution or even Haitian independence per se, but rather the recent recognition of Haitian sovereignty by France. Moreover, the fact that the meeting took place in a private home suggests an event whose resonance in the public sphere was considerably less than that of contemporary public celebrations of July 4th or the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade.10 Still, the fact that black Baltimoreans held any observance at all is noteworthy, especially since African Americans in most other locales seem to have refrained from holding any commemorative or celebratory meetings. Although Niles’ Weekly Register contended that “free people of color, in several cities of the United States, have celebrated the independence of Haiti,” I have found evidence of observances only in Baltimore and in Boston. And both these events were explicitly linked to French recognition of Haitian independence and were not celebrations of Haitian independence or of the revolution as such.11 The apparent rarity of such observances was not for want of news of the event. Americans had been engaged economically with Haiti for some time, and the

98  •  Kachun pros and cons of formal diplomatic recognition were being publicly debated well before France took that step. In late July 1825, newspapers in major cities along the eastern seaboard began carrying reports of France’s recognition of Haiti, which most commentators saw as a major event with significant economic, political, and social implications for the United States.â•›.â•›.â•›. Amidst this wide-Â� ranging discussion, no paper outside Boston mentioned any activities by African Americans in their own communities, though several did note that blacks in Boston held a public observance of the event.12 In fact, Boston’s celebration of France’s acknowledgment of Haitian independence was a much more public event than Baltimore’s. As was the case in several other northern cities, especially New York and Philadelphia, Boston’s African Americans already had a well-Â�established tradition of public commemoration surrounding the 1808 US abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Each July 14 witnessed black Bostonians marching through the streets and usually ending up at the African Meeting House on Belknap Street, where they would be addressed by a sympathetic white clergyman along with prominent local black spokespersons. These events were often mentioned in the local white press and were occasionally praised for their order and decorum, but more often they were mocked, belittled, or even physically attacked by local whites. Still, they persisted in some form at least through the 1820s.13 While African Americans in New York and Philadelphia, who commemorated the slave trade ban regularly during this period, seem not to have celebrated France’s act, those in Boston did so quite publicly. By late July 1825, Boston’s newspapers had announced the French action, and by early August began providing more details from Haiti, along with speculations about the act’s implications for the United States. On August 16 the Boston Statesman reprinted a translation of President Jean Pierre Boyer’s official proclamation to the Haitian people, in which the executive praised not only Haitians’ “courage and .â•›.â•›. heroic efforts,” but also the “brilliancy” of the French monarch for “consecrat[ing] the legitimacy of your emancipation” and recognizing “the full and entire independence of your government.” Haiti’s citizens were called upon to “Shew yourselves worthy of the honourable place which you occupy among the nations of the world” and to “bequeath to your posterity the most glorious heritage which they can desire.” The same newspaper added further news from “the official Gazette of Haiti” reporting “the public rejoicings and the fetes given [in Haiti], in honour of the recognition of Haytien independence.”14 Interestingly, it seems that at least one Haitian citizen may have been present in Boston as the news arrived. The Boston Courier reportedly noted that a “Gentleman of colour arrived in town” on July 12, supposedly on “a mission” from Boyer to pursue economic relations with Boston merchants. It is unclear whether that visitor played a role in instigating black Bostonians’ commemorative observance, but he appears not to have been present on August 23, at Boston’s “celebration .â•›.â•›. of the acknowledgment of the Independence of Haiti by the King of France, [which was held] by the Africans and their descendants.” Festivities

Public Commemoration  •  99 began around noon with a public procession “to the meeting-Â�house,” where the Reverend Thomas Paul offered a sermon and a “concise, but interesting account of the life of President Boyer; – and the past and present state of Hayti; and described with energy the possible consequences which would result from the auspicious events that led to the day’s celebration.” Subsequently, another procession, including “a band of music,” escorted the company to “a repast in the African School-Â�House, which was beautifully decorated for the occasion.” After the meal, over a dozen toasts were given by members of Boston’s black community, and later that evening “there was a splendid ball given to the Ladies.” Press accounts do not estimate the size of the gatherings, but do note that “the utmost good order and decorum prevailed at the festival.” It is noteworthy that, unlike contemporary Boston slave trade commemorations, no accounts mentioned whites as participants, though a dozen black men are identified by name. No mention is made of any attempts by whites to disrupt the affair, nor is there any indication that any whites, other than possibly the reporters, witnessed the events.15 These observances in Baltimore and Boston are the only ones that can be documented. The Niles’ Weekly Register’s report that “several cities” held celebrations of “the independence of Hayti” is a misrepresentation, albeit relatively minor. Other communities quite possibly observed the event in some way, but I have found no evidence. Moreover, there is no indication that celebrations continued after 1825. They appear to have been one-Â�time affairs in two cities commemorating France’s diplomatic recognition of Haiti. Berlin’s assertion that “Baltimore free Negroes met at the house of a leading African Methodist minister to celebrate Haitian independence” may rely too heavily on the language of a single primary source. Still, this is a relatively minor misstatement, given the event’s small place in Berlin’s larger project and argument. When Slaves Without Masters was published there had been little scholarly attention directed toward public commemoration and festive culture; the examination and interpretation of festive and commemorative cultural forms has developed tremendously since then. In terms of understanding blacks’ public commemorative practices, and the meanings attached to them, there is an enormous difference between celebrating Haitian independence itself with a public festival and expressing gratitude for France’s recognition of Haitian sovereignty with a small gathering at a private home. Still, if the issue were limited to this one case, Berlin’s misplaced emphasis would not justify exposition in a lengthy essay; a footnote would suffice. But subsequent repetitions, distortions, and expansions of Berlin’s characterization have created a body of historical misinformation that requires correction if we are to reach a historically valid understanding of African American commemorative traditions. Berlin inferred that black institutions in a number of southern cities celebrated Haiti’s independence and the end of slavery in the black republic. Subsequent scholars, many relying primarily on Berlin, have perpetuated and expanded what was a relatively minor misstatement to

100  •  Kachun create the impression that blacks commemorated not merely Haitian independence, but rather the actual Haitian Revolution itself (which Berlin never suggests), and that these celebrations were organized on a regular basis in public spaces throughout the antebellum United States. No evidence supports these conclusions. Berlin does indicate that “the celebration of Haitian independence spread to other Southern cities,” but he doesn’t say if it spread quickly, or widely, or whether a large number of cities held regular celebrations. Other than Baltimore, he only has documentation for a St. Louis celebration in August 1859. On August 10, 1859, the St. Louis Daily Missouri Democrat printed a brief notice in its “City News” column: Excursion of Colored Masons. – The colored Masons, numbering about seventy, started for the Jefferson barracks yesterday morning, for the purpose of enjoying themselves at a social picnic. Invitations were extended to their brethren in Cincinnati, Chicago and Pittsburg. The excursion was intended to commemorate the abolition of slavery at St. Domingo. Great strife will be indulged in for obtaining the prize – $150 – which will be given to the persons presenting the best dish of cookery for their dinner. The party was conveyed to the scene of their enjoyment by the Iron Mountain Railroad.16 This reference is perplexing. It would seem that a Democratic paper from a slaveholding city like St. Louis in 1859 might have made some reference to the dangers of blacks identifying with Haiti, or at least have made some denigrating comment about the event, as was so often the case with regard to antebellum black public celebrations. In St. Louis that same month a local newspaper’s report, reprinted in William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist paper The Liberator, commented on an August 1 commemoration of British West Indian emancipation that had been organized by antislavery sympathizers in the decidedly proslavery city. The August 1 anniversary, the article noted, was “one, of late years, faithfully observed in those portions of the Northern States where Abolitionism is most rampant, and wears its most aggressive aspect.” The correspondent’s concern appeared to revolve around the fact that, “at such festivals, it is customary to have an admixture of black and white orators” and a similarly mixed audience. Although the mayor consented to a speech by eastern visitor Philip P. Carpenter, the proposed speaker was publicly derided as an “Abolition nigger-Â�thieving Lecturer” and threatened with “tarring and feathering and riding you on a rail, should you dare attempt the lecture.” Carpenter found the door to the hall locked when he arrived for his speech.17 West Indian emancipation celebrations became important events all across the North during the antebellum decades, and, as Benjamin Quarles noted, “whites were more receptive to an August 1 affair than any other kind conducted by Negroes.” Part of this acceptance may relate to the fact that slavery ended in the British West Indies without violence, a circumstance emphasized by both black and white American abolitionists. That white St. Louisians reacted so

Public Commemoration  •  101 vociferously to a proposed August 1 celebration, yet allowed a celebration of Haitian emancipation to proceed without comment requires explanation.18 In the very next issue of the Daily Missouri Democrat the same “City News” column that had printed the initial announcement issued a clarification: The Colored Pic-Â�Nic. – In our issue of yesterday we stated that the colored pic-Â�nic was intended to celebrate the emancipation of negroes in St. Domingo, and that a prize had been offered for the best dish presented at the dinner. Such, it appears, was not the case, and the affair was altogether social, without having in view the celebrating of any event whatever.19 Here now is unequivocal documentation that the “colored masons” had not been commemorating Haitian abolition, independence, or indeed anything at all. But why would the paper initially indicate that Haiti was connected with the affair, and who might have suggested that association? Perhaps the group actually did meet to celebrate Haitian emancipation, but upon seeing the notice in the paper, feared that whites would take offense and retaliate violently. Retracting the statement might thus have been for self-Â�protection. If so, blacks would have been privately, among themselves, expressing their admiration and identification with Haitian revolutionaries, while consciously avoiding any public demonstrations that would associate them with the Haitian Revolution. Or perhaps they met in early August to observe British West Indian emancipation and the white press got the French and British West Indies confused. Given the experience of abolitionist Philip Carpenter, there may have been good reason for St. Louis blacks to promote the impression that they met only to socialize, and not to commemorate anything at all related to black liberation. In any case, these primary sources offer at best weak and indirect support for the conclusion that antebellum blacks publicly celebrated any aspect of the Haitian Revolution. Nonetheless, recent scholarship has perpetuated and expanded both Berlin’s misstatements and the misleading primary source evidence. In 1988, Alfred N. Hunt, in Haiti’s Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, relied exclusively on primary sources for the following statement: “Northern newspapers often reported that free people of color in several United States cities celebrated the independence of Haiti, and that some of these blacks looked to the island as ‘their hope and future home.’â•›” Hunt makes this statement within a broader discussion of black American views about Haiti, and the omnibus footnote is ambiguous regarding which source applies to what issue, but the only source relevant to the question of celebrations appears to be the same Niles’ Weekly Register piece discussed above. That article contains the passage about Haiti being “their hope and future home,” while the other citations do not comment on celebrations. Hunt then slightly distorts this already inaccurate source when he says that northern newspapers “often” reported that blacks celebrated Haitian independence. Neither the Weekly Register nor any of Hunt’s other sources support the contention that such celebrations constituted a regular and ongoing tradition.20

102  •  Kachun As scholarly attention to festive and commemorative culture expanded in the 1990s, the myth of Haitian Revolution celebrations grew along with it. Geneviève Fabre’s insightful 1994 essay, “African-Â�American Commemorative Celebrations in the Nineteenth Century,” notes that numerous dates and events competed for African Americans’ attention in their construction of an “alternative calendar” that enhanced the development of a meaningful collective history and identity. In this context, she asserts that “While Baltimore preferred to commemorate Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian revolution, Cleveland recommended the downfall of slavery in Haiti or Nat Turner’s birthday.” While her information on Baltimore might have come from Berlin, her only citation is to Eric Foner’s Nothing but Freedom. But there Foner comments only on the general facts of the Haitian Revolution and does not mention commemorations. As for Cleveland, Fabre cites no source at all, but she probably based her statement on a letter published in the New York Weekly Anglo-Â�African in 1859, in which the Cleveland author stated that he only reluctantly celebrated West Indian emancipation on August 1, with the following logic: “seeing there is no day of our own worth commemorating, and appreciating holidays, as such, I sometimes participate in the keeping of this one, but not with the relish I should feel had the slaves liberated themselves.â•›.â•›.â•›. I should prefer, therefore, commemorating the downfall of slavery in St. Domingo or the birthday of Nat. Turner.” There is no evidence, however, that the writer or anyone else ever organized such an observance. In saying that Baltimore and Cleveland “preferred” or “recommended” particular celebrations, Fabre implies, though does not explicitly assert, that the celebrations actually took place. She does, however, offer the following thought: “One may wonder why the commemoration of the Haitian revolution, which created the second independent nation in the New World, never became an institutionalized celebration in the black calendar.” Unfortunately, subsequent scholars have overlooked this probing question.21 In Freedom’s Port, Christopher Phillips provides a somewhat less cautious assertion of blacks’ ostensible celebrations of Haitian independence. Phillips states that “black Baltimoreans” chose not to celebrate July 4, but rather, they “often honored an event that held far greater import to those of their own race. As early as 1825 Baltimore’s free Negroes gathered to celebrate Haitian independence day, a tradition that soon spread to other southern cities. It was a celebration of not only Haiti’s independence but also what they hoped would be their own future as a people.” Phillips cites Berlin and indeed relies to some degree on his language. But he also pushes farther than Berlin, saying that Baltimore blacks “often” held such celebrations, though he cites only the 1825 newspaper piece as a primary source. Given the extensive research undertaken for a book explicitly examining Baltimore’s black community, one would expect that Phillips would have found other primary sources documenting celebrations had they taken place, but none are cited. He also says they celebrated Haiti’s “independence day,” although independence was established on January 1, not August 17. Moreover, the celebrants themselves made it clear that French

Public Commemoration  •  103 recognition of Haiti was the cause of their gathering. Phillips’s addition of language that the celebrations “soon” spread to other cities also goes beyond what Berlin and his sources had indicated. In addition to Berlin and the Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper, Phillips cites Leonard Curry’s The Free Black in Urban America and Gary B. Nash’s Forging Freedom. Curry makes only general statements about blacks’ public celebrations, with no mention of Haiti. Meanwhile, Nash’s community study of black Philadelphia discusses white reactions to the “shew them St. Domingo” incident of 1804–1805 and includes the observation that black Philadelphians’ commemorations of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade took place on January 1, “the date the prohibition of trade took effect, and also the date of Haitian independence in 1804.” Nash does not explicitly state here that they actually were celebrating Haitian independence – indeed they were not – but Phillips apparently interpreted this chronological coincidence as having commemorative meaning. The surviving oration texts and descriptions of early January 1 celebrations in both Philadelphia and New York strongly suggest that those events were held solely in observance of the slave trade banâ•›.â•›.â•›.22 In Black Identity and Black Protest in the Antebellum North, Patrick Rael notes how black abolitionists’ public commemorations, including those of the Haitian Revolution, “provided new opportunities to put before the white public the desires and demands of black Americans.” Rael offers an excellent discussion of antebellum antislavery fairs that demonstrates his appreciation for the place of public festivals in African American communities and activist networks. But while Rael’s overall argument is sound and insightful, he continues the pattern of providing inadequate documentation for celebrations of the Haitian Revolution. In fact, the most proximate footnote following the statement quoted above offers no documentation for any of the types of celebration mentioned. In much the same way, Kathleen Clark, in her 2005 book, Defining Moments, lists without adequate citation numerous antebellum commemorations, including “Toussaint L’Ouverture’s declaration of Haitian independence.” By now the existence of such celebrations – including celebrations of the Haitian Revolution – can apparently be simply assumed. They are so widely known as to require no documentation; their existence is common knowledge among scholars of nineteenth-Â�century black America.23 A critique of scholarship positing the existence of antebellum African American Haitian Revolution commemorations is instructive on several levels. First and foremost, it is important to challenge the undocumented, but extremely persistent, assertion that antebellum African Americans publicly commemorated the Haitian Revolution. They did not, as is revealed by an extensive survey of black and abolitionist newspapers, pamphlets, books, minutes, and other sources from the early republic and antebellum eras, as well as more mainstream newspapers and other publications from the same period. A proper understanding of the practices, functions, and meanings surrounding African American commemorations and festive culture must deal with historical reality, and not the historical mythology that has emerged from this series of small scholarly missteps.

104  •  Kachun Second, the scholarly practices surrounding the perpetuation of this particular mythology call attention to the challenges inherent in historical research and writing, since they represent lapses in practice and/or judgment. Some scholarship relied on a very limited range of primary or secondary sources and too readily accepted their assertions. Elsewhere, language and usage subtly, but significantly, changed the meaning of cited sources, leading to unsupportable conclusions. Other scholarship cited no sources at all, thereby perpetuating inaccuracies that came to be accepted as truth. So while the cumulative effect of these lapses on our historical understanding needs to be redressed, their existence also should caution us to vigilance in reading both primary and secondary sources rigorously and skeptically. The issue of skepticism raises the question of why the historiography appears to have been so willing to accept uncritically the idea that antebellum African Americans held public commemorations of the Haitian Revolution. My own argument as to why such events did not take place is based on logic rather than solid evidence. My speculation that such celebrations were not held because they would have been both counterproductive and downright dangerous is just that – speculation. My research has uncovered neither evidence that celebrations took place nor discussions about why such celebrations were not held. As Fabre suggested, it would indeed be of considerable interest to discover and interrogate documents on this issue, because understanding the reasons behind what historical actors did not do can be as revealing as understanding what they did. But in terms of the widespread and uncritical acceptance of the existence of Haitian Revolution celebrations, why did the thinking that made me dubious about such celebrations – the seeming illogic of black Americans publicly celebrating a bloody slave rebellion and revolution that so horrified their white contemporaries – not occur to other scholars? Perhaps we can attribute this apparent lack of skepticism in part to a natural tendency to accept the existence of purported historical events or circumstances that fit with our views of the way things must have been, and similarly to reject those that are not in keeping with our most comfortable, and comforting, visions of the past. It is revealing that early nineteenth-­century African American history seems to offer so many examples. . . . . . . Historians of African Americans or other marginalized groups may be especially vulnerable to such celebratory tendencies, but not necessarily. As the Jefferson–Hemings issue illustrates, while there has been a wealth of scholarship that complicates popular perceptions of the nation’s so-­called ‘‘Founding Fathers,’’ a recent flurry of popular works on the founding generation has raised concerns within the discipline about the perpetuation of many of the core myths surrounding those hallowed figures. Challenges to cherished myths, inherited wisdom, or comforting conceptions of the past can be difficult to bear. David Lowenthal’s illuminating discussion of the power of “heritage” in shaping popular perceptions of the past may offer some guidance. Lowenthal sees heritage as a self-­identifying group’s emotional

Public Commemoration  •  105 engagement with a constructed past that validates the present needs of the group, regardless of evidence presented through empirically based historical analysis. In this context, perhaps we might consider that even empirically oriented academic historians are not immune to the pull of their own particular intellectual heritage. Of course, as Michael P. Johnson suggests, “historians’ first commandment should continue to be ‘Thou shall not make it up.’â•›” Nonetheless, our own emotional engagement with our subjects – we are, after all, human beings as well as historians – makes certain “truths” more (or less) easy to embrace than others.24 The most extreme kind of cases would involve historians deriving a sort of perverse pleasure from proving [Joseph] Cinqué [of Amistad fame] to be a slave trader or [Thomas] Jefferson a rapist, with others reveling in the image of [Denmark] Vesey the freedom fighter. But the emotional engagement of historians usually operates on a much subtler level. In his discussion of the “silencing” of the Haitian Revolution, I do not read Trouillot as arguing that a vast cabal of Europeans consciously conspired to ignore or trivialize the revolution’s place in history. Rather, he suggests that a set of historical blinders was in place, which brought certain images into sharp relief while removing others from the field of vision entirely. Trouillot offers a useful discussion of the many reasons why, for most white western historians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the idea of the Haitian Revolution having historical significance was simply not “thinkable.” In this case, the recentering of the Haitian Revolution in our understanding of how the modern world took shape matters enormously. Surely the question of whether antebellum African Americans publicly commemorated the Haitian Revolution does not rise to the same degree of historical significance as does the impact of the revolution itself. Still, the question should generate similar interest in understanding how historians make sense of the past. Taking time to consider why recent historians have found the idea of African American Haitian Revolution commemorations so easily “thinkable” may provide some insight into the way we go about constructing antebellum African American history. At the very least, we might amend the historical record by removing from it this one small piece of mythology. Notes ╇ 1 Trouillot, Silencing the Past. ╇ 2 McDaniel, “Haiti’s Usable Past,” 1 (manuscript in possession of the author). A significant literature on African American emancipation celebrations has been developing in recent years. Two monographs with different approaches to studying African American emancipation celebrations are Kachun, Festivals of Freedom and Wiggins, O Freedom! A recent work focusing on black commemorations in the postbellum South is Clark, Defining Moments. Articles and books with individual chapters on the subject include Clark, “Celebrating Freedom”; Fabre, “African-Â�American Commemorative Celebrations”; Glaude, Exodus; Sweet, “Fourth of July”; Gravely, “Dialectic of Double Consciousness”; Litwicki, America’s Public Holidays; McKivigan and Silverman, “Monarchial Liberty”; Rael, Black Identity; Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes; White, “It was a Proud Day.” Selected works dealing with other aspects of African American commemorative activities include Blight, Beyond the Battlefield; Savage, Standing Soldiers; Brundage, “Meta Warrick’s 1907 ‘Negro Tableaux.’â•›” See Kachun, Festivals of Freedom, chapters 1 and 2, for a detailed analysis of the development of African American emancipation celebrations during the antebellum decades. Interestingly, I have not discovered specific discussions among antebellum black

106  •  Kachun

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14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

leaders regarding their reasons for not commemorating the Haitian Revolution; my conjectures in this regard are based on circumstantial evidence. Walker, David Walker’s Appeal, 23; Finkenbine, “Toussaint Louverture”; Clavin, “â•›‘He was Considered”; McDaniel, “Haiti’s Usable Past.” Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, 592; Thompson, “National Newspaper”; Egerton, Gabriel’s Rebellion; Sidbury, Ploughshares into Swords; Sidbury, “Saint Domingue”; Sweet, “Fourth of July”; Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes, 328. Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes, 331; Gloucester, Oration; White, “It was a Proud Day,” 41. Plummer, Haiti and the United States, 5, 37. Columbian Centinel and Massachusetts Federalist, February 15, 1804; New York Daily Advertiser, March 5, 7, 1804. On white responses to the Haitian Revolution, see Dun, “Dangerous Intelligence.” I have not attempted to verify whether Dessalines actually made these statements; what matters for my purposes is that Americans reading the Advertiser would have believed that he did. Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 314–15. Genius of Universal Emancipation, August 1825, 167 (emphasis added); Stein, “From Saint-Â� Domingue to Haiti,” 189–226. Genius of Universal Emancipation, August 1825, 169. Niles’ Weekly Register, September 3, 1825. Niles’ Weekly Register, September 27, 1823; New York American, September 16, 1825; Richmond Enquirer, August 2, 1825; undated editorial from National Intelligencer reprinted in Boston Statesman, August 11, 1825; New York National Advocate, August 5, 1825. I surveyed the following additional papers for the months of July through September 1825: Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser; Baltimore Patriot and Mercantile Advertiser; The Charleston Courier; The National Gazette and Literary Register; New-Â�York Spectator; The Statesman; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser; The Philadelphia Gazette, and Daily Advertiser; Philadelphia Recorder; New York Evening Post; United States Gazette; City Gazette and Daily Commercial Advertiser. Almost all of these carried some mention of France’s recognition of Haiti, and several included substantial commentary on the event, but none mentioned any activities by African Americans other than the observances held in Baltimore and Boston. Discussion of Boston’s slave trade celebrations, and the emergence of black commemorative culture in the early republic, can be found in numerous sources, including Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes and Kachun, Festivals of Freedom. Representative newspaper accounts reflecting both positive and negative opinions of the celebrations include Boston Statesman, July 17, 1823; National Philanthropist, July 20, 1827; Boston Gazette, July 18, 1808; July 13, 1809; July 13, 1820; Boston Daily Advertiser, July 15, 1817; July 17, 1821; July 17, 1822; July 13, 1830. Boston Statesman, August 16, 1825. Other notices of the French act appeared in the Boston Statesman, July 30, 1825, and Boston Recorder and Telegraph, August 5, 1825. Reported in Boston Statesman, August 25, 1825; Columbian Centinel, August 24, 31, 1825. A more abbreviated mention of the event also appeared in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, August 26, 1825. Daily Missouri Democrat, August 10, 1859. The Liberator, August 19, 1859. Quarles, Black Abolitionists, 124–6; Kachun, Festivals of Freedom, chapter 2. Daily Missouri Democrat, August 11, 1859. Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 159. Hunt’s sources are listed as follows: Holly, Vindication, 44; Freedom’s Journal, June 1, 1827. Also see Frederick Douglass’ Paper, April 15, 1855; Clarke, Conditions, 249; Niles’ Weekly Register, September 3, 1825, 4. Fabre, “African-Â�American Commemorative Celebrations,” 86, 91n26, 27; Foner, Nothing but Freedom; Weekly Anglo-Â�African, August 6, 1859. Phillips, Freedom’s Port, 174; Curry, Free Black, 212–13; Nash, Forging Freedom, 177, 189. Rael, Black Identity and Black Protest, 77; Clark, Defining Moments, 18. Johnson, “Reading Evidence,” 135–202; Lowenthal, Possessed by the Past.

7

American Toussaints Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War Matthew J. Clavin Men of color, my fellow-­citizens, do not stop to ask the question: “What are we going to fight for?” but enlist, buckle on your armour, and with strong arms and brave hearts go into this war and fight for your rights. Did Toussaint L’Ouverture stop to ask that question? Did his followers stop to ask that question? No, no, not at all. They rose up with all their strength and struck blow after blow for freedom, and this day their posterity are enjoying the fruits of their victories. Bob Logic, Weekly Anglo-­African, August 1, 1863

Haiti’s Declaration of Independence at the opening of the nineteenth century marked the end of an unprecedented slave revolt. It was the culminating event of a racial and social revolution that rocked the slave societies of the Atlantic world. The effect of the Saint-­Domingue, or Haitian, Revolution on the United States was tremendous. This was especially the case during the Civil War, when the American people at last confronted the racial paradox that defined their short history. The brutal and bloody war that ended slavery in the United States sparked an outpouring of public memory of the Haitian Revolution and especially the legendary black general Toussaint Louverture. This is anticipated given that nearly two hundred thousand African Americans enlisted in the Union army and helped turn the tide of the war. This chapter explores how the transformation of both free and enslaved black men into soldiers amplified African Americans’ identification with Haiti. The argument is made that during the American Civil War, Toussaint was for African Americans the touchstone of a transatlantic identity, which transcended both time and space as it joined their violent struggle for freedom and equality to a black revolutionary tradition that was deeply rooted in the eighteenth-­century This chapter is excerpted from Matthew J. Clavin, “American Toussaints: Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War,” Slavery and Abolition 28.1 (April 2007): 87–94, 97, 100–1, 103–4, 106–13. Copyright © 2007 Taylor & Francis. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd., http://www.tandtf.co.uk/journals.

108  •  Clavin Atlantic world. White abolitionists played an important role in reinforcing the construction of this identification, for when they saw armed and uniformed black men, they likewise imagined American Toussaints, committed, disciplined, and talented slave soldiers who were eager to both die and kill for freedom. The men and women who seized upon the revolutionary symbols of Toussaint and the Haitian Revolution at this critical moment in the history of the American republic advanced a subversive ideology that undermined the white supremacist ideas that buttressed both the institution of slavery as well as the republic itself. The subversiveness of this ideology derived from two sources. First was the great faith that Americans placed in violent sacrifice. The United States was a nation born in blood; thus, its citizens held in high regard the violent tactics that patriots employed to secure independence.1 Americans’ respect for violence did more than explain the success of the republic: it rationalized the enslavement of African Americans at the exact same time that liberty and equality spread among whites. François Furstenberg surmises that the lack of any sustained or prolonged violent slave revolt in the new republic justified bondage. Free Americans felt that until bondpeople seized liberty in their own bloody hands, they were unworthy of enjoying its benefits.2 What is missing from this line of reasoning is that throughout the early national period, Americans were aware that hundreds of thousands of enslaved Haitians secured both freedom and national independence through violent means. This triumph for most whites represented a nightmare of slave rebellion and race war that they termed “the Horrors of St. Domingo.” African Americans and their white allies, however, revered it as a revolutionary symbol that shattered the notions of white supremacy and black inferiority. The second subversive aspect of this ideology resulted from African Americans’ identification with Toussaint, for his greatness affirmed the masculinity of black men. In early America repudiation of the manhood of African Americans attended the spread of plantation slavery. That white men held power reinforced the idea of white male supremacy. But Toussaint remained an undeniable symbol of black manhood. Indeed, in early American and Atlantic oral and print culture, abolitionists constructed Toussaint in the classical mold of a republican citizen soldier, a Great Man who sacrificed much to lead a desperate people to freedom. That the Toussaint these speakers and writers manufactured only partially resembled the one found in the historical record was immaterial. Toussaint was an ambitious, deceptive, and at times vengeful leader, who was wary of national independence and famous for treating former slave owners with compassion and former slaves with disdain. He was, moreover, at the time of the revolution a free landowner who employed slaves on his own plantation. He owned at least one bondman for a time.3 There was more myth than reality in the perception that Toussaint was a rebel slave who garnered the unanimous support of an entire population of bondpeople in the process of making Haiti. Nevertheless, for African Americans Toussaint and the men who followed him into battle affirmed the redemptive quality of violence to prove black manhood.

American Toussaints  •  109 Our examination of African-Â�American memory of the Haitian Revolution during the Civil War begins with a brief discussion of Frederick Douglass. During his years in servitude, Douglass ran away on several occasions and eventually succeeded in escaping permanently from bondage. But it was always his decision to fight the vicious overseer Edward Covey that he credited with making him a man: “I was a changed being after that fight. I was nothing before; I WAS A MAN NOW.”4 Douglass’s faith in masculine violence made the Haitian Revolution an attractive symbol to him and countless other black men, because in Haiti hundreds of thousands of bondmen employed violence to win their freedom and in the process disproved the theory of white supremacy. Douglass revered the black republic and identified with its people.5 He especially admired Toussaint, a man many compared with Douglass himself.6 Douglass invoked Haiti’s founding father in a popular oration delivered on the antebellum lyceum circuit, insisting, “In an age of great men he [Toussaint] towered among the tallest of his times.”7 Only a month before the start of the Civil War, Douglass wrote in his monthly paper, “A dream, fondly indulged, a desire, long cherished, and a purpose, long meditated, are now quite likely to be realized.”8 The former Maryland bondman was to sail for Haiti, “the theatre of many stirring events and heroic achievements, the work of a people, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.” Having nearly given up on his dream of making the United States a land of liberty and equality for all, the avowed opponent of colonization planned to explore Haiti’s prospects as a location for black emigrants. Only the start of the war kept him from making the trip. During the war, Douglass exploited the memory of Toussaint in an effort to increase the number of black volunteers in the Union army. Shortly after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Douglass published a plea for black recruits in numerous abolitionist newspapers. “Men of Color, to Arms!” was among the most widely reprinted articles of the Civil War era, and the slogan quickly became the rallying cry of black soldiers and recruiters. In the text, Douglass insisted that African Americans live up to the revolutionary standard set by John Brown, Denmark Vesey, and Nat Turner. He exhorted black men to redeem their manhood, for “Liberty won by white men would lose half its luster.”9 Though failing to mention the Haitian Revolution explicitly, “Men of Color, to Arms!” relied heavily on African-Â�American memory of the event.10 Historical and biographical narratives of the Haitian Revolution published just prior to and during the Civil War, for example, invoked Douglass’s battle cry, “To Arms!” In 1855, Charles Wyllys Elliot delivered a lecture on Toussaint in New York City that later appeared as a pamphlet. Elliot revealed that during the revolution, “Liberty!” and “To Arms! To Arms!” were on the tongue of every rebel slave.11 A biography of Toussaint written by the British Unitarian minister John Relly Beard in 1853, that abolitionist James Redpath reprinted in Boston during the Civil War, copied a letter in which Toussaint explained how armed bondmen nearly destroyed one Haitian town, but for the calm and discipline of black officers. Toussaint wrote, “there arose a cry ‘To arms!’ .â•›.â•›. [and] had a single musket fired, the city would have perished.”12 The narrative revealed further that

110  •  Clavin bondmen charged into battle behind Toussaint singing “La Marseillaise,” the inspirational song of the French Revolution, which included the lines, “Aux armes! Citoyens; formez voz bataillons.” During the Civil War, African Americans knew the revolutionary French anthem and sang it in public gatherings.13 In addition to these accounts, some also would have recognized the slogan, “To arms!” as Toussaint’s final words in the last line of Alphonse de Lamartine’s dramatic poem “Toussaint L’Ouverture.”14 With broadsides emblazoned with the slogan “Men of Color, to Arms!” littering the streets of crowded cities and towns, the connection between the Civil War and the Haitian Revolution was evident to African Americans. The front page of a black French-Â� language newspaper in Louisiana revealed in bold letters the long reach of Douglass’s clarion call: “AUX ARMES! c’est notre devoir.”15 Other recruiters of black soldiers were more direct than Douglass, invoking Toussaint and the thousands of bondmen who fought alongside him as an endorsement of military service. One published call for recruits maintained that the army provided black men the “opportunity to display those qualities which the experience of this war, as well as the history of Toussaint’s Battles, has shown him to possess.”16 A southern black correspondent of the Weekly Anglo-Â�African implored, “Men of color, my fellow-Â�citizens, do not stop to ask the question: ‘What are we going to fight for?’ but enlist, buckle on your armour, and with strong arms and brave hearts go into this war and fight for your rights. Did Toussaint L’Ouverture stop to ask that question? Did his followers stop to ask that question?” The answer was, “No, no, not at all. They rose up with all their strength and struck blow after blow for freedom, and this day their posterity are enjoying the fruits of their victories.” The author called on African Americans to repeat the success of their Haitian brethren, concluding, “Let us as a people emulate their example.”17 Another writer envisioned the revolutionary possibilities for black men as the result of military service, arguing that by copying Toussaint they would open the door to both freedom and equality. Though African Americans served in the United States American army before and the government had denied them their rights, now the interests of black men were paramount. The author’s affinity for both Haiti’s founding father and the United States is revealing. “Every young man of this blood should prepare himself for the glorious destiny of sharing in the duties and honors of the then only free and great nation in the world. Let him study and emulate this greatest of Africans [Toussaint] and not a whit behind the greatest of men.” Whites must also acknowledge genius, the writer continued, “whatever be the color of the skin that enwraps it; and they must prepare themselves to welcome the leadership of our armies and our Senate .â•›.â•›. black Toussaints, who, by their superior talents and principles, shall receive the grateful homage of an appreciative and admiring nation.”18 The United States needed American Toussaints to redeem both the nation and the black race. Once accomplishing this, the possibilities were endless. African Americans identified with Toussaint, and when the opportunity presented itself they enlisted in the Union Army, intent on reenacting his

American Toussaints  •  111 phenomenal accomplishments. The record of the Fifty-Â�Fourth Massachusetts Regiment is illustrative. Immortalized in scores of soldier narratives, Augustus Saint-Â�Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial, and the popular motion picture Glory, the FiftyÂ�Fourth holds a special place in American memory of the Civil War.19 The regiment’s longstanding popularity rests on several factors. First, its location and organizers made the regiment a favorite of the local abolitionist press. Organized in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the regiment’s supporters included Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, and Wendell Phillips. Second, the regiment’s famous assault on Fort Wagner, under the direction of the white Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, lent itself to celebration by white abolitionists. After all, one of their own gave his life for the movement. Third, the Fifty-Â�Fourth’s story was palatable for northerners, as it fit squarely into the narrative of northern exceptionalism. Writers told the tale of a regiment of free black men – northerners – going south to end slavery, a despicable and peculiarly southern institution. It is not the story of enslaved people taking up arms, fighting, and killing whites in battle. Yet most soldiers of the Fifty-Â�Fourth did not live in Massachusetts. They came from every northern and border state. Thirty-Â�seven came from the South. Five were West Indian. Approximately twenty-Â�five percent were formerly enslaved, and nearly all had family or friends in bondage.20 The Haitian Revolution inspired the men of the Fifty-Â�Fourth. One of the most celebrated soldiers of the regiment was Sergeant William H. Carney, a former Virginia bondman.21 At Fort Wagner, Carney suffered injuries to his legs, chest, and arm while holding the American flag aloft, and because of his heroism became the first African American to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. What is less known is that when Carney and the rest of C Company stormed Battery Wagner, they went by the name of the “Toussaint Guards.” The company nickname is something historians of the Civil War overlook, though contemporaries rarely failed to mention it.22 Originally, the company went by the name “Morgan Guards,” in honor of one of the regiment’s most loyal supporters, a wealthy New Bedford merchant, S. Griffits Morgan. However, on March 23, 1863 the New Bedford Mercury reported the changing of the name to the “Toussaint Guards.”23 According to the paper, the change occurred “in compliance with the very proper suggestion of our townsman S. Griffits Morgan, Esq.” While it is tempting to credit this elite, white benefactor with the moniker, there is reason to believe the soldiers themselves share responsibility. The rank and file of the Fifty-Â�Fourth remembered the Haitian Revolution. Sergeant Frederick Johnson made sure of it, regularly distributing among the regiment copies of the Weekly Anglo-Â�African, which more than any other wartime newspaper regularly discussed and debated the history of the revolution in its columns.24 Frederick Douglass’s two sons served in the Fifty-Â�Fourth. Lewis Douglass, the eldest, served as a sergeant major, and historian Joseph Glatthaar has noted that, “few white soldiers in the Union Army, officers or enlisted men, possessed” his “writing fluency.”25 Lewis grew up in the offices of his father’s newspapers, the North Star and Douglass’ Monthly, where he learned the printer’s

112  •  Clavin trade and assisted in the writing, editing, and printing of articles on Haiti that appeared in both papers.26 Douglass’s sons and the other men of the Fifty-Â�Fourth fought alongside Martin Delany’s son, Toussaint L’Ouverture Delany, and doubtless they were all aware of his namesake. One member of the Fifty-Â�Fourth revealed a particularly strong affinity for the black republic. Rhode Island native Charles E. Greene had for years held sacred the memory of the Haitian Revolution and hoped to see the day when he could partake in the violent end of slavery in America. Greene joined the Fifty-Â�Fourth in February 1863 and lost his life a year later in Beaufort, South Carolina. But two years earlier the Union Army refused the services of this man because of his complexion. Consequently, Greene and other black Rhode Islanders formed an independent military company and began drilling.27 After learning of a growing disturbance among Haitians and Dominicans, Greene forwarded a letter to James Redpath’s Pine and Palm, the official organ of the Haitian Emigration Bureau. Greene offered Redpath his services and those of several other men from his unit to aid the Haitians. “We would like to know,” Greene asked, “if we could go as a military body. If so, we go to fight.” Greene’s abolitionism transcended oceans and boundaries. It is likely that he, Johnson, the Douglasses, Delany, and Greene played a part in the renaming of their company. Greene was not the only man who in addition to serving in the United States Colored Troops offered to fight in Haiti. William H. Johnson of the Eighth Connecticut Volunteers hoped to travel to Haiti to assist in the war with Santo Domingo, but first there was a war to fight at home.28 Johnson wrote to Redpath, “I am at present engaged to follow this war against the slave propagandists of the South. We will conquer. Slavery will finish.” After avenging John Brown, Johnson explained, “I will be able to go to the Haytian war against despotic Spain, and carry with me a practical knowledge of modern warfare, and a contingent of intellect and military strength.” H. Ford Douglas, the noted Midwest orator and runaway slave who went on to serve in both a white and black Union regiment, remarked on the new threat to Haitian independence: “If there is to be any fighting in the island .â•›.â•›. please count me in.”29 Neither Johnson or Douglas ever left for Haiti, but their interest in coming to the defense of Haitians and their subsequent personal sacrifices for the Union army indicate their primary motivation for enlistment, to fight for black freedom wherever it was in jeopardy.30 African Americans’ veneration of Haiti did not detract from their fidelity to the United States. In Philadelphia, John C. Bowers was among those who presented the regimental colors to the Sixth United States Colored Troop. The flag was six feet tall by six feet six inches wide. On one side was the Goddess of Liberty, holding the “American ensign.” On the other side was the United States coat of arms. Bowers addressed the men of the regiment. “The time has come when we are called upon by our countrymen to participate in this deadly strife; and, as in days of yore, our people are rushing beneath her standard with alacrity.” The effort that black men made to secure victory for the Union was

American Toussaints  •  113 astonishing, Bowers asserted. “In this bloody strife,” they exhibited courage similar to the world’s greatest men, among them “Toussaint L’Ouverture, Cristophe and Dessalines in St. Domingo.” The survival of the United States depended on black men, and Bowers implored the soldiers before him to proudly bear the flags of both their country and their regiment on every battlefield where they met the enemy. The great conflict between freedom and slavery required bloodshed, but in the end they would trample the black flag of slavery under their feet, “while the glorious Stars and Stripes, emblems of freedom to all mankind, irrespective of clime or complexion, will wave in graceful folds, its red, white and blue, over the land of the free and the home of the brave.”31 One black soldier who shared Bowers’ dual identification with both race and nation enlisted in the Union Army as a teenager to save his “beloved country” from the disease of slavery.32 Decades later he became the first chronicler of the black soldier’s Civil War experience. In A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, George Washington Williams described the Civil War as a climactic battle in a war for black freedom that began in Haiti, and recognized the place of black Union soldiers alongside Toussaint in the struggle to end slavery. Williams referred to Haiti as the “scene of modern Negro soldiership.” Numerous black generals distinguished themselves in the Haitian Revolution, but “the most commanding character was Toussaint l’Ouverture.” The great leader united blacks and whites, wrote a constitution, and created a republic without slavery. The Civil War was but a continuation of his work. Even after the Civil War, Williams remembered his debt to Toussaint and bemoaned the lack of a monument of “marble or brass” to the Great Man. Still, he took solace that on Toussaint’s “island home the little republic he built still stands a monument to his valor as a soldier, and sagacity as a statesman; write his deeds, like stars, illumine the page of history, and his Christian character and shining example have an immortal place in the literature of the world”â•›.â•›.â•›.33 African Americans fought to end slavery in the United States and, following heroic displays like the Fifty-Â�Fourth Regiment’s assault on Fort Wagner, the northern press quickly spread the word of the bravery of black troops. Invocation of the Haitian Revolution in these reports reinforced African Americans’ identification with the revolutionary tradition that commenced in Haiti. An Ohio newspaper, which weeks earlier printed a narrative of the Haitian Revolution, felt its readers could “not fail to perceive the exact similarity of the stubborn heroism of the Louisiana colored guard at Port Hudson, to the desperate valor of the negro soldiers at the siege of Crete-Â�a-Pierrot” in Haiti.34 General William S. Smith called black soldiers the best in the army. This was no surprise based on history. “Look back a quarter of a century,” Smith told a writer for the New York Times, “to the heroic deliverer of St. Domingo, who made even NAPOLEON tremble at his power.”35 J. F. Cooke, a prominent member of the Relief Association for the Contrabands in the District of Columbia, commented on the significance of the Civil War while praising the heroism of black soldiers in Kansas, Florida, and Louisiana: “The conflict is not between the North and

114  •  Clavin South, it is of nobler aspect, of transcendently higher nature.” It was of freedom, equality, and slavery, “A strife between civilization and barbarism, truth and error, right and wrong.” Cooke informed the members of the First District Columbia Volunteers who stood in front of him, “To-Â�day we are making our own history – history that will bid defiance to prejudice and partiality.” Americans no longer needed to “rake the far past” for black military heroes. Gone was the necessity to invoke foreign and dated racial paragons, like Hannibal, the “slave martyrs of 1776 and 1812,” or “the soldier and the statesman of San Domingo, Toussaint L’Overture.” Now the accomplishments of African-Â� American soldiers were worthy of remembrance.36 Tales of the heroism of militant black men prompted historical comparisons. William Tillman was among the first African Americans to receive significant attention in the northern press. A free man, Tillman became a captive of Confederate privateers. Traveling to South Carolina, he confided to a passenger, “I am not going to Charleston a live man.”37 Around midnight on July 16, 1861, Tillman snuck upon the ship’s captain, master, and first mate as they slept, and with a hatchet took each of their lives. After discarding the lifeless bodies overboard, he imprisoned the two remaining white sailors and directed the boat to New York City, where it landed. He was an instant celebrity. The New York Tribune fêted him on its front page, and reported that he “created such an interest in the public mind that Mr. Barnum has induced him to receive visitors at the Museum for the next few days.”38 Harper’s Weekly printed a number of illustrations, including one of Tillman emerging from the ship’s belly, with hatchet in hand, ready to attack. Douglass’ Monthly accorded him “a degree of personal valor and presence of mind equal to those displayed by the boldest deeds recorded in history.” Among the men Tillman deserved comparison with, was “Toussaint L’Ouverture”â•›.â•›.â•›.39 .â•›.â•›.â•›There is no more telling example of the resiliency of public memory of the Haitian Revolution among African Americans during the Civil War than the evidence of fugitive slaves, who, after escaping behind Union lines, in interviews and conversations invoked Toussaint and the revolution. Such evidence demonstrates that bondpeople were not transparent, unintelligent, and uninformed people; rather, they were informed and active participants in their own history, conscious participants in a black Atlantic revolutionary tradition. There were two main sources of African-Â�American memory of the Haitian Revolution in the South during the Civil War. The first was print culture. Scholars of the book note the extent to which northern periodicals found a market among southerners in spite of the war.40 Stephanie Camp, for example, documents the case of one enslaved Mississippian who on the walls of her cabin hung a picture of Abraham Lincoln, which she had detached from a northern abolitionist newspaper.41 Black soldiers and bondmen in the South accessed northern antislavery newspapers and periodicals that discussed the Haitian Revolution at length.â•›.â•›.â•›. The Confederate army failed to stop the advance of both the Union Army and northern print culture. A South Carolinian named John was among the

American Toussaints  •  115 contrabands who demonstrated firsthand knowledge of Haiti.42 John confessed his knowledge of the political events swirling around him, admitting that, for example, he knew of John Brown and had read stories of the white martyr “to heaps of the colored people.” He revealed further that he owned a “history of San Domingo,” which he stored away in his trunk. That a bondman counted a narrative of the Haitian Revolution among his personal possessions is notable, as historians are just beginning to understand the extent to which enslaved peoples’ networks of communication extended beyond plantation boundaries. Through seaports and sailors, word-Â�of-mouth communication, and hand-Â�to-hand exchanges of printed matter, information from both the North and the greater Atlantic world penetrated America’s slave society.43 James Meriles Simms’ career as a publisher provides an example. A former bondman and Union soldier, Simms published an edition of William Wells Brown’s Black Man in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. It is, according to Phillip Lapsansky, “the first book written by a black, celebrating black accomplishment, published by a black in the New South – or the Old.”44 A surviving copy of this unique volume belonged to the free black merchant, Anthony Desverney. That black southerners published, distributed, and read a book written by a radical black abolitionist, which gloried in the accomplishments of Toussaint and other Haitian revolutionaries, speaks to both the transforming nature of the Civil War and the reach of northern print culture. It testifies, moreover, to the resiliency of the public memory of the Haitian Revolution among African Americans. Oral culture was the second major source of African-Â�American memory of the Haitian Revolution in the South during the Civil War. A Union chaplain stationed for a time at Port Royal, South Carolina claimed an intimate knowledge of the life of bondmen, and thus felt that they had the potential to make excellent fighting men. He avowed, “From the earliest ages of the world, the people from whom the contrabands of this country originally sprang, have been a people of war.” Confident in his knowledge of enslaved peoples’ oral tradition, he added, “The result of the insurrection in St. Domingo has long been known among the contrabands of the South – the name of Toussaint L’Overture has been passed from mouth to mouth until it has become a secret household word – and a love of liberty, fed by a love of arms, has been rendered universal and almost omnipotent. It has been felt that it was right for the colored Haytiens to fight to be free, it is equally right for colored Americans.” This was a bold statement. For years slave-Â�owners insisted that the bondpeople were neither deserving nor eager for freedom, but in his short time in South Carolina the chaplain had learned of the contrabands’ “secret household word.” He reasoned that if southern planters had failed to keep enslaved people ignorant of the legacy of the Haitian Revolution, then surely they had not extinguished the black man’s martial spirit as well. White southerners underestimated the militancy of bondmen, the descendants of “a people of war.”45 Commenting on the patriotism of African Americans in the District of Columbia, a correspondent of the New York Evening

116  •  Clavin Post added that black men studied the military tactics and strategies of both the present war and ancient history. “They think and speak of General Hannibal as one of their own immortal heroes. The brave deeds of Toussaint L’Ouverture, of Cristophe, Rigaud and Geffrard abroad, of Attucks and Turner at home, are as familiar to these people as household words.”46 These assertions echoed the language used by John Brown’s eldest son, who insisted that Toussaint’s memory survived among enslaved Americans. Toussaint’s body rested, Brown, Jr. conceded, but “his soul visits the cabins of the slaves of the South when night is spread over the face of nature. The ears of our American slaves hear his voice in the wind-Â�gusts which sweep over the prairies of Texas, of Arkansas and Missouri; his voice finds an echo in the immense valleys of Florida, among the pines of the Carolinas, in the Dismal Swamp and upon the mountain-Â�tops, proclaiming that the despots of America shall yet know the strength of the toiler’s arm, and that he who would be free must himself strike the first blow”â•›.â•›.â•›.47 Events in a number of slave states illuminate how contrabands further contributed to the public memory of the Haitian Revolution during the Civil War. In 1863, a correspondent of the New York Herald noted a unique occurrence at Newbern, North Carolina. There an estimated eight to ten thousand contrabands established a colony and gave it the name “New Hayti.”48 In Alexandria, Virginia, freedmen likewise poured into a black settlement, which residents had for decades referred to as “Hayti.” A few blocks away, they constructed a medical facility that eventually served hundreds of black soldiers and contrabands. This they named “L’Ouverture Branch Hospital.”49 The naming of important spaces after the Haitian Revolution was a tradition established earlier in the century. Before the Civil War, African Americans named their communities in honor of the black republic. In the South alone, there were “Haytis” in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia.50 Individual naming practices provide additional evidence of the survival of the memory of the Haitian Revolution among African Americans. The naming of children in honor of Haiti’s founding father was a longstanding tradition. Martin Delany’s son Toussaint Louverture Delany offers a well-Â�known example. Toussaint L’Ouverture Lambert’s name is less known. The son of a well-Â�known conductor of the Underground Railroad in Detroit who assisted John Brown in the planning of the Harper’s Ferry raid, Lambert worked as a correspondent to the Weekly Anglo-Â�African. His signature, or the abbreviation “T. L’O. L.” appears routinely in the paper during the war.51 Lambert was not the only black abolitionist who capitalized on Toussaint’s name in the northern press. The Weekly Anglo-Â�African and the New York Times published letters of correspondents calling themselves either “Toussaint” or “L’Ouverture.” It is clear that African Americans had a special place in their hearts and minds for Toussaint, yet he did not have a monopoly on African-Â�American memory. John Mercer Langston, the Virginia-Â�born abolitionist and orator who lectured on the Haitian Revolution, for example, named his eldest son Dessalines.52 During the Civil War, African Americans continued this naming tradition. Boston Toussaint Parsons, the noted

American Toussaints  •  117 Virginia educator, politician, and church leader, was born in Currituck, County, North Carolina six months after the firing on Fort Sumter.53 Two years later in Oxford, Ohio, Hezikiah and Carolina Jackson named their son, who would go on to found the first African-Â�American settlement in Colorado, Oliver Toussaint Jackson.54 Scholars trace the centrality of African-Â�American naming practices to the naming ceremonies of West Africa. West Africans placed great importance on names, and recognized them as key indicators of one’s past, kinship, and identity. Consequently, historians consider African-Â�American naming customs as essentially African, or nationalist in nature, as opposed to American, or integrationist.55 They insist upon this even when African Americans chose Anglicized names instead of African names. But the decision of African Americans to name their children after Haiti’s revolutionary leaders indicates a transatlantic consciousness, which defies the traditional nationalist/integrationist paradigm of African-Â�American identity. In the middle of the nineteenth century, African Americans were part of a diasporic culture that was neither exclusively African nor American. They, instead, occupied the middle ground between these two poles, immersed in a black Atlantic tradition that defied national, political, and temporal boundaries.56 American Toussaints served as central characters in some of the most popular literature published during the Civil War, and it is perhaps in these fictional accounts that the subversiveness of the memory of Toussaint among African Americans is best illuminated. In Camps and Prisons: Twenty Months in the Department of the Gulf, a fictional account of Union officer and one-Â�time prisoner of war Augustine Duganne’s experiences in Louisiana during the war, a manly fugitive slave named Toussaint figured prominently. Like his namesake, this American Toussaint was “courageous and intelligent, strong and patient, who might ask only favorable surroundings to become, likewise, a chief of his enfranchised comrades.” In escaping behind Union lines, Toussaint “dared to defy oppression and brave suffering, from the promptings of as generous a spirit as that which nerved his namesake in Hayti.” Once, after being lashed by an overseer’s whip, Toussaint’s “manhood revolted once more,” and he struck the overseer and then absconded from the plantation on a horse. This was not wanton violence. It was self-Â�defense in the pursuit of freedom. While escaping on horseback, Toussaint was “struck by a bullet in his shoulder.” Still, he did not submit. He headed for the woods and eventually found refuge in the Union army. When asked to stop working in order to let his wound heal, Toussaint responded to a white soldier, “Thank you, sah! But I reck’n it’ll git along, sah! I’d rather wu’k, sah, if you please, sah!” The bondman who refused to stop working because of a bullet wound impressed Duganne. “I do not know many white soldiers who would not prefer a furlough under Toussaint’s circumstances. Very few, certainly, would report for fatigue duty, with a bullet hole through the shoulder”â•›.â•›.â•›.57 Enslaved Americans understood that memory of the Haitian Revolution was an incendiary device that both shattered the idea of white supremacy and sent

118  •  Clavin shivers up the spines of white Americans in both sections. In a “remarkable conversation” with Samuel Wilkeson of the New York Tribune, “an intelligent negro” named Tom, who had run away from his master in South Carolina with the hopes of enlisting in the Union Army, took offense at the suggestion that enslaved Americans were unwilling to fight for freedom. “You know as well as I,” Tom declared, “we were driven from your lines and camps, and pretty plainly told that you didn’t want anything to do with us; that you meant to carry on the war, and leave us in slavery at the end of the war .â•›.â•›. The North can’t conquer the South without the help of the slaves .â•›.â•›. We know, too, that if the war lasts, one party or the other party will give us our freedom.” Hardly believing what he had heard, Wilkeson retorted: “What is that you say – the slaveholders free the slaves?” Tom fired back, “They certainly will do it, if they can’t whip you otherwise .â•›.â•›. Our position Mr. W. is like that of San Domingo blacks. They put their aid in the market between the white and the mulattoes – put it for sale. The price was their freedom. We mean to sell ourselves for freedom .â•›.â•›. If your politicians and Generals kick us away, we will try to make our market with the rebels. But you had better bargain with us – had better free us, and arm us.”58 The exchange is indeed remarkable. Tom expressed a detailed, historical consciousness of the Haitian Revolution, an awareness of the complex of race on Haiti that pitted free and enslaved black people, white planters, poor whites, and a free mulatto class against, and sometimes beside, each other for thirteen years. Here is evidence of a black Atlantic consciousness. Tom placed his allegiance to freedom first and the Union second. He wanted assurances that the 4,000,000 members of his race in bondage would benefit from the war before they would cast their lot with the Union army. And he dared the North to try to win the war without them. When African Americans put on the uniform of the United States Army and went to war to be free, they and their white abolitionist allies recognized the similarities between the forces aligned against them and those that confronted enslaved Haitians at the close of the eighteenth century. The transformation of the Civil War from a limited war over Union to a total war over slavery meant that the time to finish the struggle begun on the small French colony in the Caribbean had finally arrived. Heeding the clarion call to arms that had reverberated throughout the Atlantic world for decades, African Americans proved themselves worthy of the freedom they demanded by living up to the high standard of black soldiery set by Toussaint and his army. Their accomplishments perhaps surpassed those of their Haitian predecessors, for black soldiers in the Union army avoided partaking in the excesses that accompanied the earlier revolution over slavery. Armed with the symbols of Toussaint and the Haitian Revolution, free and enslaved African Americans took advantage of the opportunities presented by war and continued what others like them had started in Haiti more than a half-Â�century before.

American Toussaints  •  119 Notes ╇ 1 Purcell, Sealed with Blood. ╇ 2 Furstenberg, “Beyond Freedom and Slavery.” ╇ 3 Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies, 230; Dubois, Avengers of the New World, 171; King, “Toussaint L’Ouverture before 1791,” 68; Debien et al., “Toussaint Louverture Avant 1789.” ╇ 4 Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom, 242–6. ╇ 5 Stanley Harrold’s and John R. McKivigan’s collection of essays, Antislavery Violence, highlights the militancy of abolitionists on the eve of the Civil War and details their growing commitment to violence to end slavery. For discussions of masculinity in the nineteenth century, see: Dorsey, Reforming Men and Women; Leverenz, Manhood and the American Renaissance; Rotundo, American Manhood. ╇ 6 For one of Douglass’ lengthiest treatments of Toussaint, see “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress, Container 31, Microfilm reel 19; David Turley describes British reactions to Douglass on a visit to England in 1846 and the subsequent comparisons to Toussaint in “British Unitarians,” 12. ╇ 7 Douglass, Frederick Douglass Papers, 4: 291. ╇ 8 “A Trip to Hayti,” Douglass’ Monthly, May 1861. ╇ 9 “Men of Color, to Arms!” Douglass’ Monthly, March 1863. 10 It is likely that like other abolitionists, Douglass refrained from invoking the black republic explicitly to avoid conjuring images of race war and the failed experiment of black national independence that contemporary Haiti provided. Dain, “Haiti and Egypt”; Kachun, Festivals of Freedom; Kachun, “Antebellum African Americans.” 11 Elliot, Heroes are Historic Men, 14. 12 Beard, Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, 107; Redpath, Toussaint L’Ouverture, 99. 13 The Union veteran and black historian George Washington Williams wrote, “the black troops charged, singing ‘La Marseillaise’â•›” (History of the Negro Troops, 50); Ripley, Black Abolitionist Papers, 5: 51; “Flag Presentation in Baltimore,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, August 29, 1863. 14 De Lamartine, Oeuvres Poetiques Completes, 1401. In “Toussaint Louverture,” Lamartine repeats a black version of the Marseillaise slaves sang in revolutionary Haiti, 1264–5. 15 “Aux Armes!” L’Union, June 2, 1863. 16 “The Colored Regiments of Massachusetts,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, December 19, 1863. 17 “Letter from Washington,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, August 1, 1863. 18 “Editor’s Book Table, Toussaint L’Ouverture,” New York Independent, February 4, 1864. 19 Blatt et al., Hope and Glory. 20 Redkey, “Brave Black Volunteers.” 21 Liberator, November 6, 1863. 22 The New Bedford Mercury used “Toussaint Guards” when referencing the regiment throughout the spring of 1863. For example, see March 23 and 27, and April 20, 1863. For examples in other papers, see: “Letter to the Editor,” The Christian Recorder, April 4, 1863; “Reception of the Toussaint Guards,” Liberator, September 15, 1865. 23 “The 54th Regiment,” New Bedford Mercury, March 23, 1863. 24 Ripley, Black Abolitionist Papers, 5: 245. 25 Glatthaar, Forged in Battle, 178. 26 Ripley, Black Abolitionist Papers, 5: 243–45; Frederick Douglass Papers, 4: 232. 27 Letter to the Editor, Pine and Palm, June 20, 1861. 28 “Volunteers for Hayti,” Pine and Palm, June 29, 1861. 29 “Speaking of the San Domingo Spanish Imbroglio,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, May 4, 1861. Douglas’s story is remarkable. A light-Â�skinned former slave from Virginia, Douglas served in the early years of the war in the all-Â�white 95th Illinois Regiment. In 1863 he relocated to Chicago where he recruited black soldiers. A year later, he enlisted as a captain of the black Kansas First Heavy Artillery. Soon after joining this black regiment, Douglas died due to illness. “Mournful News,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, November 16, 1865; Harris, “H. Ford Douglas.” 30 Adams, On the Altar of Freedom, xxx; Ploski and Williams, The Negro Almanac, 834. 31 “The Flag Presentation at Chelton Hills,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, September 12, 1863. 32 Williams, History of the Negro Race, viii. 33 Williams, Negro Troops, 40, 45–6, 54; Franklin, “George Washington Williams.” 34 “The Colored Troops,” Newark North American, June 12, 1863.

120  •  Clavin 35 “The Siege of Vicksburgh,” New York Times, July 9, 1863. 36 “Anniversary of the Association for the Relief of Contrabands in the District of Columbia,” The Christian Recorder, August 22, 1863. 37 Quarles, Negro in the Civil War, 33. 38 Ibid.; “The Schooner S. J. Waring,” Harper’s Weekly, August 3, 1861. 39 “A Black Hero,” Douglass’ Monthly, August 1861. 40 Fahs, Imagined Civil War; Kaser, Books and Libraries. 41 Camp, Closer to Freedom, 114–16. 42 “The Army and the Negroes,” National Anti-Â�Slavery Standard, November 8, 1862. 43 Bolster, Black Jacks; Scott, “Common Wind”; Horton and Horton, In Hope of Liberty. 44 Thanks to Phillip Lapsansky at the Library Company of Philadelphia for bringing the story of this edition to my attention (“Afro-Â�Americana”). 45 “Will The Contrabands Fight,” Washington National Republican, in Weekly Anglo-Â�African, February 15, 1862. 46 “Colored People of the District of Colombia,” Weekly Anglo-Â�African, April 19, 1862. 47 “The Haytiens and John Brown,” New York Times, August 8, 1860. 48 “The Government and the Negroes,” New York Herald, January 6, 1863. 49 Berlin et al., The Black Military Experience, 652, 683. 50 Ira Berlin in his seminal work on free black southerners states incorrectly that unlike the North, “No Southern city had .â•›.â•›. a ‘Hayti.’â•›” Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 257. 51 African Americans spelled Toussaint’s name variously, as a cursory glance at antebellum black newspapers reveals. “William Lambert,” Detroit Free Press, April 29, 1890; Boykin, Hand Book on the Detroit Negro, 117. 52 Langston named his son Arthur Dessalines Langston. Langston, From the Virginia Plantation, 157. 53 Anderson, Biographical Souvenir Volume, 138–9. 54 Mather, Who’s Who of the Colored Race, 1: 150–1. 55 From Frederick Douglass (Bailey) and Sojourner Truth (Isabella) to Malcolm X (Little) and Martin (Michael) Luther King, Jr., the naming practices of African Americans signify an important transition. Blassingame, Slave Community, 181–3; Stuckey, Slave Culture, 194–8. 56 Gilroy, Black Atlantic; White, “Yes, There is a Black Atlantic.” 57 Duganne, Camps and Prisons, 92–4. 58 “An Intelligent Contraband,” Commonwealth, November 8, 1862; “Views of an Intelligent Negro,” Douglass’ Monthly, January 1863.

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Figure 1 Frederick Douglass, between 1865 and 1880. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-BH832-30219.

8

“The Spirit of Human Brotherhood,” “The Sisterhood of Nations,” and “Perfect Manhood” Frederick Douglass and the Rhetorical Significance of the Haitian Revolution Glen McClish On January 2, 1893, Frederick Douglass, the renowned abolitionist and eloquent advocate of the rights of African Americans, delivered two speeches on the topic of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution. The first was presented as part of the ceremonies dedicating the Haitian Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park on Lake Michigan. Douglass, who served as the American minister resident and consul general to Haiti from 1889 to 1891, spoke in his capacity as the Pavilion’s Commissioner, a position to which he was appointed by Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite. Located among other national pavilions in the section of the Fair called the White City, the Pavilion was an important symbol to Haiti, which had struggled since its bloody revolution in the first years of the nineteenth century to establish itself as a peaceful, prosperous nation. Douglass’s audience, described as “a few of Chicago’s best citizens,” was small.1 An article published the following day in the Chicago Tribune printed selections from his oration and the official response, delivered by Exposition Director-Â�General George R. Davis. The Chicago Herald, which also published portions of Douglass’s and Davis’s speeches, noted that an audience “composed of exposition officials and colored citizens of Chicago .â•›.â•›. braved the blasts that tore across Lake Michigan.” The story goes on to note, “When [Douglass] threw off his heavy topcoat and raised a big brown hat from his long white locks the hall was almost deserted.”2 In its January 19 issue, the Christian Recorder – the official organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church – asserted that “the Hon. Frederick Douglass, the orator, never sustained himself more creditably. If the Negroes of Hayti felt themselves justified in the selection and effort of Mr. Douglass, all Afro-Â�Americans can do no less than share a feeling of delight and

For Thomas O. Sloane on his eightieth birthday.

124  •  McClish gratitude to one who has so ably represented and championed their cause for more than half a century.”3 The second address was presented later that day before “fifteen hundred of the best citizens of Chicago” (7) at the previously mentioned Quinn Chapel on Wabash Avenue, the newly established home of an important African Methodist Episcopal Church with deep roots in the struggles for abolition and human rights. Although the Chicago Tribune did not report on the speech, the Chicago Herald summarized its contents and noted that “Mr. Douglass spoke entertainingly and his remarks were spiced with a dry but benignant sarcasm.” The reporter’s assessment of Douglass’s audience, which is revealing in several respects, is worth quoting at length: Colored people went in numbers last night to Quinn chapel to hear Fred Douglass lecture on Hayti. They filled the large lecture hall and all the adjoining classrooms to overflowing. Even the colored policeman on the beat and the dusky stable boy from the adjoining alley made it a special point to slip into the door for a few moments to catch a glimpse of the “grand old man of his race,” as the ex-Â�minister to Hayti was termed by a gentleman on the platform in making the announcement. There was a sprinkling of white people in the audience. In his column in the Christian Recorder, J. T. Jenifer reports that the speech, “[Douglass’s] famous lecture, ‘Hayti,’â•›” was delivered as a benefit for the Chapel’s auditorium. “Chicago’s leading citizens,” Jenifer asserts, gathered to experience “the matchless eloquence of this grand hero of human rights.”4 Later that year in Chicago, Douglass’s supporters published the two speeches in a pamphlet – Lecture on Haiti. The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies Delivered at the World’s Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago, Jan. 2d, 1893. By the Hon. Frederick Douglass, Ex-Â�Minister to Haiti.5 As this record suggests, the two speeches received some initial publicity, yet – coming very late in Douglass’s long and brilliant career of public address – they are not among his most well known or frequently quoted orations. Nor have they been emphasized by scholars of Douglass, the Haitian Revolution, or African American rhetoric, who tend to overlook the significance of late-Â�nineteenthcentury texts.6 Yet despite the lack of scholarly attention given Douglass’s January 2, 1893 speeches, they are striking, powerful, complex performances that make compatible, yet very different arguments concerning the island nation and its significance to the United States and the world. This study, an analysis of this pair of speeches, sheds additional light both on Douglass’s sophisticated rhetorical practice and, more generally, the significance of Haiti and its revolution to African Americans at the close of the nineteenth century. I will demonstrate how Douglass marshals Haiti and its history both to suggest unity and – contrastingly – to emphasize differences between white and black peoples, both in America and worldwide. Furthermore, the two speeches reveal the complex, multifaceted nature of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution as topoi for

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  125 African American rhetors of the nineteenth century, as well as the extent to which antebellum modes of thought continue to shape black rhetorical practice decades after the Civil War. Bearing in mind Richard Yarborough’s contention that “no nineteenth-Â�century Afro-Â�American thinker was more concerned with the issue of manhood than Frederick Douglass,” I will pay particular attention to issues of gender and identity.7 Douglass at the Pavilion Douglass’s relationship with the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition was deeply conflicted. On the one hand, as Robert Levine reminds us, Douglass considered his appointment as Commissioner of the Haitian Pavilion one of the greatest honors of his career, and he wanted the Pavilion to successfully represent the nation whose survival and development he believed would help improve conditions for blacks in the United States and worldwide. On the other hand, he was deeply disturbed by the racism inherent in the Fair’s organization and management. Barbara Ballard notes that although “many African Americans in the United States hoped to illustrate at the Fair how far the race had progressed since emancipation .â•›.â•›. the Fair managers declined to include an exhibition representing black America. Similarly, they excluded African Americans from the planning, administration, and national ceremonies of the event.â•›.â•›.â•›.” Even the layout of the Exposition communicated racist intent. Robert Rydell explains that the Exposition’s Midway Plaisance “provided visitors with ethnological, scientific sanction for the American view of the nonwhite world as barbaric and childlike and gave a scientific basis to the racial blueprint for building a utopia.”8 Beyond his specific concerns with the Fair, Douglass was deeply troubled by what his biographer William McFeely describes as “the deteriorating condition” of African Americans “in an indifferent America.”9 The 1890s constituted the nadir for blacks in post-Â�Civil War America, a fact that weighed heavily on the battle-Â�scarred Douglass, whose struggle to advance African Americans began decades before the Civil War. The institution of Jim Crow had destroyed the initial economic and political gains made by southern African Americans; and, as Ida B. Wells’s courageous, eloquent articles and pamphlets documented, widespread lynching was practiced against blacks, particularly those whose worldly success threatened white dominance. Responding to these profound problems, Douglass wrote the eloquent, forceful introduction to The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition, edited by Wells, in which he refers to the event as “a whited sepulcher,” a mask behind which America can “pos[e] before the world as a highly liberal and civilized nation.” He condemns the prejudice of Southerners, declaring, “The [white] people of the south are with few exceptions but slightly improved in their sentiments towards those they once held as slaves. The mass of them are the same to-Â�day that they were in the time of slavery, except perhaps that now they think they can murder with a decided advantage in point of economy.” Concerning the possibilities of justice for African Americans,

126  •  McClish he notes, “At the bar of public opinion in this country all presumptions are against the Negro accused of crime.” Douglass assisted Wells in distributing the pamphlet, which both extols the progress of African Americans and exposes the widespread problem of lynching in America, to visitors of the Pavilion. In fact, as Ballard argues, Douglass, Wells, and their allies adopted the Haitian Pavilion “as the site for black American protest and representation at the Fair.â•›.â•›.â•›. For them the World’s Columbian Exposition was a contested space – an ideological and cultural playing field in which black people could display their contributions, progress, and potential.”10 Mindful of both the rhetorical opportunities and limitations of this particular site on the “ideological and cultural playing field,” Douglass begins his dedicatory speech for the Haitian Pavilion by nimbly sidestepping the racism displayed by the Fair’s white organizers in order to present a positive image of the Exposition and all those involved in the Pavilion. He praises the “vigor and punctuality of its builders,” who completed the structure ahead of schedule, and compliments the efforts of President Hyppolite, “the supreme motive power and the main-Â�spring by which this pavilion has found a place in these magnificent grounds.” More generally, he extols the character of the Haitian leader, who “has thoroughly vindicated his sagacity and his patriotism by endeavoring to lead his country in the paths of peace, prosperity and glory.” He speaks favorably of “the liberality of the honorable commissioners and managers” of the Fair, who, in placing the Pavilion “upon one of the finest avenues of these grounds,” “have acted in the spirit of human brotherhood and in harmony with the grand idea underlying this Exposition.” He even touts the Haitian coffee that will be served in lieu of alcoholic beverages at the Pavilion (46–9). Douglass reserves his most sustained and meaningful praise, however, for the Haitian Revolution that established the nation’s independence ninety years earlier. To make the case for its extraordinary nature – “one of the most remarkable and one of the most wonderful events in the history of this eventful century, and I may almost say, in the history of mankind” – Douglass marshals an argument a fortiori, an analogy between the American War of Independence and Haitians’ struggle for freedom that demonstrates the greater challenge faced by the patriots in the latter conflict. He suggests that although the American Revolution was a “herculean” task that imposed “dreadful .â•›.â•›. hardships and suffering,” “it was nothing in its terribleness when compared with the appalling nature of the war which Haiti dared to wage for her freedom and her independence.” On the one hand, the American rebels descended from “statesmen and heroes,” including those who established the Magna Carta. “They had the knowledge and character,” Douglass reminds his audience, “naturally inherited from long years of personal and political freedom. They belonged to the ruling race of this world and the sympathy of the world was with them.” On the other hand, their Caribbean counterparts “were slaves accustomed to stand and tremble in the presence of haughty masters.” Educated to obey the will of others and religiously trained to accept with “patience” and “resignation” the

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  127 injustice of their plight, “they stood before the world as the most abject, helpless and degraded of mankind.” Yet despite their plight, the Haitians prevailed: “they not only gained their liberty and independence, but they have never surrendered what they gained to any power on earth” (51–2). Developing the argument further, Douglass emphasizes the strength of Napoleon Bonaparte’s French forces, which comprised “one of the best equipped and most formidable armies ever sent against a foe so comparatively weak and helpless as Haiti then appeared to be.” Significantly, he stresses the tyrant’s cruelty and rapaciousness. Although Douglass acknowledges that there have been reports of “the savage and sanguinary character” of the Haitians’ style of warfare, he defends the revolutionaries by insisting that the atrocities committed by the French were more egregious than the response of the rebels. Furthermore, he establishes a clear contrast between the ruthless Bonaparte and Toussaint L’Ouverture, who is loyal to the French leader until he learns of his intention to invade the island. “History,” Douglass asserts, “will be searched in vain for a warrior, more humane, more free from the spirit of revenge, more disposed to protect his enemies, and less disposed to practice retaliation for acts of cruelty than General Toussaint L’Ouverture.” In an instance of pathos that evokes the principle of sympathy so characteristic of eighteenth- and nineteenth-Â�century rhetoric, the audience is invited to feel with the Haitian leader as, from the Cape of Samana, he observes the approaching French ships, “coming with fetters and chains for the limbs and slave whips for the backs of his people.” “What heart,” Douglass asks, “does not ache even in the contemplation of his misery?” For this moment, the audience is encouraged to be one with Toussaint L’Ouverture (52–4). Douglass’s evocation of the Haitian general builds skillfully on the multiple meanings this figure carried for white and black Americans. As Alfred Hunt argues, “Seldom has a symbol become so important to disparate groups in American society as Toussaint was in antebellum America.” We cannot “overestimate Toussaint’s impact on a generation of free blacks growing up in the United States during the antebellum period,” Hunt remarks, and his affirmation of their desire for black self-Â�determination – and, in some cases, militant and nationalist sentiments. At the same time, many white leaders praised him, with proslavery leaders admiring his control of Haiti’s labor force and ability to “keep the former slaves in line” and antislavery whites offering a “romanticized” portrait of “his dedication to hard work and his temperate and modest character.”11 Douglass recalls for his audience the image of Toussaint revered by an earlier generation of white leaders that deemphasized racial pride and instead elevated dedication to one’s country and universal standards of masculinity, justice, and fair play. He was a “true patriot and a true man,” Douglass indicates, committed to “protection to the white colonists” during the war as well as to conquering the army sent to “reduce his people to slavery” (53). Just as Toussaint L’Ouverture’s racial identity is downplayed in this speech, so, too, is that of those whose freedom he fought for. Thus, when Douglass mentions the African heritage of the Haitians, he does so not to establish

128  •  McClish distinctions between blacks and whites or to valorize or criticize either race, but to suggest that, finally, race is not the salient variable in understanding the Haitian Revolution or the country of Haiti. In his previously mentioned argument a fortiori, for example, he notes, as one of the disadvantages faced by the Haitians, “the antecedents of her people, both at home and in Africa.” Once the revolution begins, however, the myriad liabilities and weaknesses created by centuries of abuse of people of African descent and exploitation of their native land fall away, as this eloquent sentence, with its telltale anaphora (specifically, the repetition of “men”), seeks to portray: Yet from these men of the negro race, came brave men, men who loved liberty more than life [Applause]; wise men, statesmen, warriors and heroes, men whose deeds stamp them worthy to rank with the greatest and noblest of mankind; men who have gained their freedom and independence against odds as formidable as ever confronted a righteous cause or its advocates. Moving from the specific “men of the negro race” to the very general, timeless category of “the greatest and noblest of mankind,” Douglass suggests the leap in thinking he desires from his audience: specific elements of race – particularly of oppressed races traditionally thought to be inferior – are secondary to universal admirable human qualities. In a further effort to link, rather than distinguish between, black and white masculine valor, Douglass draws on the lexicon of America’s founding to describe the heroes of the later conflict, proclaiming that the Haitian revolutionaries “loved liberty more than life” and fought on behalf of a “righteous cause” (51–2). Correspondingly, when, toward the conclusion of the speech, Douglass compares the Haitian revolution to a sixteenth-­century Dutch campaign against Spain, his purpose is to argue that race is incidental, rather than essential, to the story: It was [no] more heroic in the brave Dutch people to defend themselves by the water of their dykes, than for the dusky sons of Haiti to defend their liberties by famine on their plains and fire on their mountains. The difference was simply the difference in color. True heroism is the same whether under one color or another, though men are not always sufficiently impartial to admit it. (54–5) In his analysis of black narratives, Yarborough argues, “Many Afro-­American authors saw no easy way to make their black male characters deserving of sympathy and at the same time to celebrate their manhood.” In this speech, designed for an audience featuring prominent whites, Douglass addresses the rhetorical dilemma identified by Yarborough by deemphasizing the particular racial qualities of Haitian men and by characterizing their motives through analogies to safe white predecessors. In fact, Yarborough’s assertion that in his 1853 narrative

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  129 “The Heroic Slave,” Douglass characterizes black manhood through “the codes of Anglo-Â�American bourgeois white masculinity” has some application to Douglass’s dedicatory speech for the Haitian Pavilion.12 Furthermore, by explicitly establishing Bonaparte, who “had set his heart upon the subjugation of the despised sons of Haiti,” as the principal agent of evil during the war, Douglass militates against a view of the revolution as a white/ black conflict. In fact, even France’s culpability is minimized through Douglass’s sustained focus on the direct agency of its autocratic leader. Persistently marshaling anaphora to underline Bonaparte’s leading role in the brutal assault on the Haitian people, Douglass declares, “he availed himself of bloodhounds from Cuba to hunt down and devour women and children .â•›.â•›. he practiced fraud, duplicity and murder .â•›.â•›. he scorned to observe the rules of civilized warfare .â•›.â•›. his swords were met with barrel hoops.â•›.â•›.â•›.” Tellingly, the war concludes “when Bonaparte had done his worst and the bones of his unfortunate soldiers whitened upon a soil made rich with patriot blood” – the French troops, as well, become victims of their tyrant’s ambition (55). To conclude, Douglass further deemphasizes racial difference and promotes international unity by highlighting Haiti’s “presence here to-Â�day in the grounds of this World’s Columbian Exposition at the end of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the American Continent,” which demonstrates Haiti’s elevated status as an autonomous member of “the sisterhood of nations” (56). This sorority, like “the spirit of human brotherhood” that guides “the honorable commissioners and managers” to place the Pavilion in the White City (featured in the opening of the speech), suggests a common family of Haitians, US citizens, and French men and women alike. Tellingly, Douglass resists criticizing Columbus’s exploits and the European colonization of the Americas, since the Fair that commemorates such actions also sponsors the very Pavilion that celebrates Haiti’s relative equality and importance in the world. As an exercise in praise, then, Douglass’s speech at the dedication of the Haitian Pavilion lifts the island nation while furthering universal values of national and human equality and stressing the natural sympathy that binds all people. The primary rhetorical work of the address – to demonstrate, as a representative of the island nation, Haiti’s legitimacy as a country and defend its revolution before a mixed audience including whites who could tolerate very little critique of white American viewpoints – was important for the future of a struggling country, and Douglass handles it with spirit and considerable diplomacy. As we shall soon see, though, he has other arguments about Haiti to make. Douglass at Quinn Chapel At the dedication of the Pavilion, Douglass spoke as Haiti’s representative and as a former US government official. In contrast, at Quinn Chapel – a key community institution controlled by African Americans, rather than white officials – he spoke, in the terms of the Chicago Herald story cited above, as the “grand old man of his race.” It should come as no surprise, thus, that although

130  •  McClish the subjects of Douglass’s second address on January 2, 1893 – Haiti, the meaning of her celebrated revolution, and her relationship with the United States and the world community – closely resemble those of the dedicatory speech presented earlier that day, the arguments furthered by the speeches differ vastly. To begin, Douglass forgoes carefully worded compliments for the builders of the Haitian Pavilion and the commissioners and managers of the Exposition. In place of such epideictic commonplaces, he gestures briefly to his audience’s intelligence, provides a conventional remark suggesting his humility, then employs a bold gradatio to launch his argument: “My subject is Haiti, the Black Republic; the only self-Â�made Black Republic in the world.” Immediately, Douglass focuses on race, on blackness, not simply in comparison with whiteness, but on its own terms. Declaring that he wants to examine Haiti’s history, future, and “the bearing of her example as a free and independent Republic, upon what may be the destiny of the African race in our own country and elsewhere,” Douglass sets the stage not for an argument based on universal equality or filial harmony – that blacks are as good as or equivalent to whites, or that they should be in unity with them – but for a pan-Â�African account of the island nation, an analysis placing substantial emphasis on difference, division, and racial pride. In addition to “creat[ing] a higher appreciation of [Haiti’s] merits and services to the world,” Douglass desires both to “promote a more friendly feeling for her in this country” and to “give to Haiti herself a friendly hint as to what is hopefully and justly expected of her by her friends, and by the civilized world” (7–8). Having stated his intentions, Douglass begins the first section of his speech, an analysis of the United States’ attitude toward Haiti. Despite their physical proximity and the obvious economic advantages of close cooperation between the two nations, Douglass’s home country spurns the island nation. Employing the familial metaphor with which he concluded his dedicatory speech for the Pavilion, yet distancing himself from the optimistic domestic relations portrayed in the closing moments of that speech, he claims that although “[Haiti] is trying to be a sister republic .â•›.â•›. she is the one country to which we turn the cold shoulder.” The ostensible reason for this unfriendliness, Douglass continues, is Haiti’s close relationship with France, which, as he suggests, is a natural result of history, language, literature, and so forth. But the “deeper,” more significant “reason for coolness between the countries,” Douglass reveals to an approving audience, is both more basic and more sinister: “Haiti is black, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being black [applause] or forgiven the Almighty for making her black. [Applause.]” (9). Douglass’s biting irony, which was nowhere in evidence in the dedication of the Pavilion, furthers his effort here to interrogate boldly the unbecoming, heartless conduct of an older sibling, the United States. Here and elsewhere in the speech, Douglass employs a caustic tone that belies the “dry but benignant sarcasm” reported in the Chicago Herald article quoted above. The diplomacy of the earlier speech gives way to an unflinching critique of the political beliefs he witnessed firsthand while serving as the Haitian minister a few years earlier.

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  131 Douglass reveals that it is the United States, alone, that disrespects Haiti and the Haitians, and, in a deliberately confrontational move, shifts from the metaphor of sisterhood to the stronger language of masculine honor to personalize issues of national misconduct: “In every other nation [a citizen of Haiti’s] manhood is recognized and respected.â•›.â•›.â•›. No people would be likely soon to forget such treatment and fail to resent it in one form or another. [Applause.] Not to do so would justly invite contempt.” The affront is particularly flagrant, Douglass suggests, because “in the nature of the country itself there is much to inspire its people with manliness, courage and self-Â�respect.” Douglass returns to the language of masculine honor as he attacks America’s condemnation of Haiti’s refusal to relinquish the harbor at Môle St. Nicolas to the United States, an effort by American interests to gain influence in the island nation. “The attempt to create angry feeling in the United States against Haiti because she thought it proper to refuse the Mole St. Nicolas,” Douglass asserts, “is neither reasonable nor creditable. There was no insult or broken faith in the case.”13 Whereas in the previous speech, Douglass diplomatically advocates for Haiti’s rightful place among the nations of the world by suggesting that black Haitians attained a universal standard of masculinity compatible with white notions of gender, here he puts forth a highly politicized, racialized sense of manhood that takes shape both in contrast to and in conflict with white American masculinity (10–13). Although Douglass defends Haiti’s honor against America’s “cold shoulder,” he does not turn a blind eye to Haiti’s problems, particularly the turmoil and instability caused by its continual rebellions and insurrections. Again employing gradatio, Douglass declares that “this revolutionary spirit of Haiti is her curse, her crime, her greatest calamity and the explanation of the limited condition of her civilization.” Mindful of the importance of pan-Â�Africanism, he notes that Haiti’s tendency toward revolution “reflects upon the colored race everywhere.” Yet Douglass does not see this tragic condition as inherent in “the character of the race,” since “the common people of Haiti are peaceful enough” and “have no taste for revolutions.” Performing a quasi-Â�Marxist class analysis, he singles out instead “the educated and ambitious few” who are “governed neither by love nor mercy for their country” and “care not into what depths she may be plunged.” Furthermore, he suggests, these elite “conspirators against the peace of Haiti” have close “allies” in America, men who, “to accomplish their personal and selfish ends, will fan the flame of passion between the factions in Haiti and will otherwise assist in setting revolutions afoot.” In effect, the everyday blacks of the island nation are imperiled by unrepresentative elite countrymen and their white American collaborators. In the minds of these immoral Americans, Douglass declares through powerful epistrophe, “the welfare of Haiti is nothing; the shedding of human blood is nothing; the success of free institutions is nothing, and the ruin of [a] neighboring county is nothing.” Douglass employs the images of “pirates,” “Shylocks,” and, most notably, “sharks” to characterize these greedy souls. Furthermore, he also accuses Americans and the American press of

132  •  McClish undermining Haiti through attacks on the character of its President, Hyppolite, whom he optimistically compares with President Lincoln (16–18).14 Whereas in the earlier speech, Douglass seeks to establish unity, to bridge gaps, to reduce differences between Haitian blacks and the rest of the world, here he creates more specific – and controversial – alliances and divisions. The primary bond he establishes is among oppressed peoples worldwide, particularly those of color, against their oppressors; and the second is among those Americans who sympathize with the persecuted. “I am a friend of Haiti,” he proclaims, “and a friend of every other people upon whom the yoke of slavery had been imposed. In this I only stand with philanthropic men and women everywhere.” Against the oppressed and their allies, Douglass establishes a clear enemy camp, which includes, in addition to Haitian elites and American business interests (or “sharks”) who feed off of Haiti’s misfortunes, Americans who exhibit “the vulgar prejudice which is just now so malignant in some parts of our southern country towards the negro” (22). Here, as in his Introduction to Wells’s The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition, Douglass confronts problems such as lynching and Jim Crow, linking these evils to oppression abroad to suggest a global pattern of persecution against people of African descent. Whereas in his first speech he features the villainy of an easy scapegoat, the long-Â�dead tyrant Bonaparte, in this oration he finds fault with contemporary Americans. Furthermore, Douglass expands the critique by highlighting the atrocities committed by the early Christians in Haiti and the New World in general. Haiti, he notes, “was the first to be invaded by the Christian religion.â•›.â•›.â•›. She was also the first to witness the bitter agonies of the negro bending under the blood-Â� stained lash of Christian slave-Â�holders.” Providing an unflattering perspective on the “religious zeal” and piety of these Spanish Christians, he seeks to expose their “injustice and blood-Â�chilling cruelty”: “With religion on their lips, the tiger in their hearts and the slave whip in their hands, they lashed these innocent natives to toil, death and extinction.” These Christian invaders, Douglass reports, with considerable irony, “opened the slave trade with Africa as a merciful device. Such, at least, is the testimony of history.”15 Douglass’s assault on white America and its Christian tradition reinforces the powerful pan-Â�African bond developed in this speech. Haiti, he reveals, is more interesting to black Americans than to others because of their unique and powerful tie of race. Like Jews, he argues, who are bound by faith, “the Negro .â•›.â•›. can never part with his identity and race. Color does for the one what religion does for the other and makes both distinct from the rest of mankind.” Whatever fate brings, “[the Negro] is identified with and shares the fortune of his race” (24–6). It is Douglass’s strong pan-Â�Africanism that inspires the next portion of the speech, a sustained defense of the island nation against charges leveled by contemporary critics that Haiti has become lazy, ignorant, and idolatrous. Since such attacks inevitably reflect on “the poor negro everywhere,” Douglass devotes considerable time to refutation. In keeping with his effort to highlight the

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  133 hypocrisies of many self-Â�professed Christians, Douglass challenges those whites who cite certain Haitian religious practices inaccurately or out of context. He argues that although Haiti’s white detractors are quick to note “the terrible crime of sacrificing little children to her voudou gods,” he can find no evidence to support “this shocking allegation.” Although he concedes that this lack of corroboration is “not conclusive,” he reminds his audience that “strange things have sometimes been done in the name of God,” including the attempted sacrifice of Isaac by his father, Abraham, in Genesis. Likewise, Douglass seeks to quell the furor over Haitian snake worship by pointing to longstanding biblical attention directed to the reptile: “No wonder then that Haiti, having heard so much of the serpent in these respectable quarters and sublime relations, has acquired some respect for a divinity so potent and so ancient” (28–32). As Douglass defends Haiti and predicts for her a positive future, he urges, “We should take no snap judgment on a question so momentous” as Haiti’s fate, but rather adopt a “broad view” because, as with other nations that have been subject to the “ebbs and flows in the tide of human affairs .â•›.â•›. Haiti will be vindicated.” Such language suggests the universalizing tendencies of Douglass’s Pavilion address, and indeed he seems to reinforce this perspective by drawing on the noted nineteenth-Â�century Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell’s reflections about his native land. Douglass asserts that just as O’Connell remarked of the story of Ireland, so the history of Haiti “might be traced, like a wounded man through a crowd, by the blood” (32–3). Yet Haiti’s history and destiny are ultimately unique. The island nation is, Douglass asserts, “the black man’s country, now and forever” (34), and its recent history and potential future are inextricably tied to all those of African descent: We should not forget that the freedom you and I enjoy to-Â�day; that the freedom that eight hundred thousand colored people enjoy in the British West Indies; the freedom that has come to the colored race the world over, is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti ninety years ago.â•›.â•›.â•›. They were linked and interlinked with their race, and striking for their freedom, they struck for the freedom of every black man in the world (34). Haiti serves not just as a general lesson of how an oppressed nation can assert its freedom and rise to eventual greatness but as the inspiration for a pan-Â�African nation; Haitians represent Africans and people of African ancestry across the world. Douglass’s inspirational pan-Â�Africanism extends the foundation laid by early nineteenth-Â�century African Americans, who viewed Haiti, as Jacqueline Bacon notes, in terms of a “global vision that linked .â•›.â•›. people of African descent throughout the world” and illustrated that their destiny as a pan-Â�African nation was to “fight for and win the right to determine their own futures.”16 Douglass details the importance of Haiti’s distinctive, race-Â�conscious mission, which is fundamentally linked to human freedom. The Haitians’ efforts have

134  •  McClish benefited their own country, which “lives proudly in the glory of her bravely won liberty and her blood bought independence,” but beyond this national effect Douglass expresses his “gratitude” for her grand service in “the cause of universal human liberty.” Claiming for the island nation a key role in human history, Douglass asserts that Haiti belongs in the tradition of “ancient nations” that “each had its special mission in the world and each taught the world some important lesson.” Whereas the Jews, Greeks, Romans, English, Germans, and Americans have educated the world, Haiti, “greatest of all our modern teachers,” “has taught the world the danger of slavery and the value of liberty.” Through their successful revolution, the laboring class of Haiti, without the privileges enjoyed by the elites who oppressed them, becomes an extraordinary exemplar for contemporary people of African descent, who continue to experience discrimination at the hands of the late-­nineteenth-century American incarnations of Christian slavers (34–5). The importance of this lesson cannot be overstated for Douglass. “Speaking for the Negro,” he declares, “we owe incomparably more to Haiti” than to the usual list of antebellum heroes: David Walker, John Brown, Benjamin Lundy, William Lloyd Garrison, and the British abolitionists. “I regard her,” he states, “as the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century.” And it is here, as Douglass eloquently employs anaphora to expand upon the teaching performed by the Haitian revolution, that his critique of the Christian hypocrisy of the European invaders of the New World and their descendants is most vehemently expressed: It was [Haiti’s] one brave example that first of all startled the Christian world into a sense of the Negro’s manhood. . . . Until Haiti struck for freedom, the conscience of the Christian world slept profoundly over slavery. . . . Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our land of liberty and light included. . . . Her hand was against the Christian world, and the hand of the Christian world was against her (35–7). Douglass’s characterization of Haiti as at war against the entire white Christian world contrasts sharply with his earlier portrayal of the island nation’s narrowly perceived struggle against its primary foe, the lone figure of Bonaparte. In fact, since Douglass identifies a much broader and more sinister set of villains in this argument – elite Haitians, heartless American business interests and Southern bigots, and the early nineteenth-­century white Christians across the globe – there is no need in this address to mention the convenient scapegoat of the earlier speech (35–7). As Douglass’s forceful declaration about “the Negro’s manhood” suggests, he has much more interest in the virtues of black masculinity than in the universal “spirit of human brotherhood” or the “sisterhood of nations” emphasized in his oration at the Pavilion. Constructing this race-­conscious version of ideal manhood, he builds on a tradition of African American men’s rhetoric that seeks

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  135 to link freedom, independence, and elements of black nationalism to masculinity. Many African American leaders of the early nineteenth century constructed race-Â� conscious models of black masculinity that linked personal behavior to political and communal goals. In particular, ideal African American manhood involved resisting slavery and other forms of white oppression, both through political participation and, when called for, physical confrontation. These aspects of male behavior constituted service to the race and challenged white hegemony.17 Douglass himself had a personal connection to the power of this model of manhood. A pivotal event in his experience as a slave was a fight with the notorious Edward Covey, a man with a “reputation for breaking young slaves” to whom Douglass was sent by his master. “This battle with Mr. Covey,” Douglass relates, “was the turning-Â�point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-Â�confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free.”18 Douglass’s discussion of the martial elements of the Haitian Revolution draws on this racialized view of ideal black manhood and its vital connection to freedom and independence: “Negro manhood, Negro bravery, Negro military genius and skill .â•›.â•›. made short work of [the French army]” (38). This confident celebration of black masculinity, which privileges the African American standard above its white counterpart, casts the Haitian revolutionaries as exemplars for black men throughout the world. Noting that many at that time believed that those of African descent were “sheep” – “docile animal[s]” that would endure their oppression without resistance – Douglass outlines the black nationalist significance of the Haitian Revolution: “The mission of Haiti was to dispel this degradation and dangerous delusion, and to give to the world a new and true revelation of the black man’s character” (36). Those of Douglass’s generation are connected to these forbears in their current struggles as black men, as Douglass indicates in his bold declaration in his Introduction to Wells’s pamphlet: “We are men and our aim is perfect manhood, to be men among men.” As Levine notes, Douglass eschews links to “the white sons, or fathers, of 1776.”19 Noticeably absent, as well, are “the codes of Anglo-Â�American bourgeois white masculinity” Yarborough locates in Douglass’s “The Heroic Slave” (and I have suggested partially inform the Pavilion speech) – here, black manhood is incomparable. Switching from his encomium for the revolution and the black masculinity that made it possible to praise the country itself, Douglass outlines the nation’s virtues and accomplishments of the last twenty years. “EVEN HER REVOLUTIONS,” he reports, “are less sanguinary and ruthless now, than formerly,” thus suggesting that a black nation can successfully govern itself. He reminds his audience that many great European countries experience “the strife and turmoil of factional war.” Whereas he closes his first speech with the image of Haiti as the new sister in the sorority of nations, here Douglass chooses a different sort of family figure: the infant, just “out of the arms of her mother,” seeking independence and self-Â�sufficiency. In a series of carefully balanced

136  •  McClish antitheses, he contrasts present problems and limitations with future improvements: “I predict that out of civil strife, revolution and war, there will come a desire for peace. Out of division will come a desire for union.â•›.â•›.â•›.” This is not the familial bond of the first speech, however, but the solidarity of pan-Â� Africans in opposition to their enemies. Douglass closes his speech with a simile poignantly related to his experience as an escaped slave and an abolitionist editor. Describing Haiti as “the star of the north” in the “firmament of nations” – thus recalling both his own escape north and his first newspaper, The North Star – Douglass reiterates Haiti’s inspirational qualities for African Americans and reinforces the pan-Â�African thrust of his argument (42–4). The Island and the Man: The Significance of Douglass’s Revolutions Douglass’s speeches on January 2, 1893 – and the differences between them – are striking and profound; and they significantly enhance our understanding of this quintessential American orator and of African American responses to Haiti at the end of the nineteenth century. While numerous studies take up Douglass’s antebellum practice, it should be emphasized that Douglass continued in his oratorical as well as diplomatic careers until the end of the nineteenth century. Just as the Haitian Revolution’s significance for Americans – and African Americans in particular – spanned the nineteenth century (and continues into the present), Douglass’s impact on American life extended beyond the era of slavery. As David Swing notes in his introduction to the published speeches, “The interesting Island finds a rival in the impressive orator.â•›.â•›.â•›. The History of either, the Island or the man, would yield thought enough for the hour.”20 Douglass’s late-nineteenth-Â�century practice as exemplified in the speeches indicates his continuing oratorical creativity and flexibility. While he regularly spoke before varying audiences – primarily white, primarily black, and mixed groups – the Haiti speeches are particularly illustrative because they were given on the same day, and on the same topic. Within the context of the Pavilion dedication, in which Douglass represents the Haitian government before a small, yet heterogeneous audience, he creates a diplomatic, white-Â�friendly argument advocating for Haiti’s rightful place in the sisterhood of nations. Choosing the convenient scapegoat Bonaparte, he fashions a positive, forward-Â�looking perspective on Haiti’s role in the world family. Specific elements of white brotherhood and black masculinity are expressed as universal qualities of manhood. In contrast, when speaking before the large insider audience at Quinn Chapel, Douglass marshals Haiti and the Haitian Revolution to deliver a strong, black-Â� centered critique of race, class, and religion worldwide. As Levine concludes, “Douglass links African Americans to their southern neighbor and uses that hemispheric nationalism to invoke a larger global diasporic conception of ‘the destiny of the African race.’â•›”21 Whereas the Pavilion dedication emphasizes connection, the second presentation employs polarizing strategies, establishing divisions that delineate clear allies and enemies. Rather than dipping into the past for a politically safe enemy, Douglass engages present politics and current

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  137 national and international threats to people of African descent. The African American construction of manhood popular in antebellum America finds new voice in this address, which seeks not so much to establish membership in an old family as to form powerful new brotherly bonds. Like the generation of antebellum rhetors to which he originally belonged, Douglass turns to Haiti’s revolution for inspiration and courage, but what is particularly significant in this speech is his effort to use the island nation’s history and current conditions as a foundation for his attack on racism in the United States of the 1890s. The same forces that have threatened the infant Caribbean nation for its entire existence are largely responsible for worsening conditions for African Americans at home. As Douglass fashions his argument according to the rhetorical exigencies of each situation, we see his ability to marshal numerous qualities in order to fit the moment: restraint and diplomacy as well as critique, anger, and militancy. His speeches on Haiti both reinforce and enhance our understanding of Douglass’s skill as a rhetor. Indeed, in these speeches we see Douglass negotiating tensions and challenges different from those he faced in the antebellum period and adopting new rhetorical strategies. Douglass the former Minister to Haiti must balance his official capacity as a representative of the United States government with his desire to critique his nation for its continuing oppression of African Americans. Douglass the defender of the Haitian people and their history – linked to his race and to his past bondage – must argue both for Haiti’s right to recognition as an equal to other countries and as a special nation with a particular significance for black people and their future. Building on the themes of black manhood and the importance of Haiti’s history that were important in the antebellum periods, Douglass expands the significance of both. In the latenineteenth-Â�century context in which African American men were cast as threats and faced lynching and other forms of brutality and racism, Douglass draws on the Haitians’ successful revolution to bolster the confidence of African American men and to show all Americans positive images of black manhood, independence, and nationhood. Haiti’s revolution, almost a century past, continues to resonate for African Americans as an example of black self-Â�determination, clearly a much-Â� needed antidote to the oppression that African Americans faced in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, these speeches suggest that Douglass and his oratory were, like Haiti and the Haitian Revolution, multifaceted and of enduring significance. Douglass and his evocations of the Haitian Revolution invited unity and divisions across race, class, and gender in the late nineteenth century. Both Douglass and Haiti remain as icons of the nineteenth-Â�century black Atlantic, continuing to resonate for Americans as exemplars of a people rising up to freedom from slavery, and as reminders that the racial work of the United States, both within its own borders and internationally, is complicated and remains unfinished. Notes ╇ 1 Douglass, Lecture on Haiti, 5. Subsequent references cited parenthetically.

138  •  McClish ╇ 2 “For Hayti’s Exhibit: The Pavilion at Jackson Park is Formally Accepted,” Chicago Tribune, January 3, 1893, 11; “Hayti Leads Them All – First Foreign Building Done. – Dedication Oration by Fred Douglass, Formerly American Minister – His Speech and Director Davis’ Response Heard by a Small Audience,” Chicago Herald, January 3, 1893, 3. The latter article was reprinted in J. T. Jenifer’s “Chicago Items,” Christian Recorder, January 19, 1893. ╇ 3 “Hayti and the World’s Fair,” Christian Recorder, January 19, 1893. Furthermore, the Northwestern Recorder, an African American newspaper published in Milwaukee, published selections from the speech (“Hayti’s Building Completed. The Negro Republic Has the Honor of First Dedicating a World’s Fair Building,” February 1893, 5); and the New York French-Â�language newspaper Courier des États-Unis brought out a translation of the oration that was enthusiastically received in Haiti (Charles A. Preston, “Letter to Frederick Douglass,” February 6, 1893, Frederick Douglass Papers, General Correspondence File, reel 6, frames 756–8). ╇ 4 “To Hear Fred Douglass Lecture. – Quinn’s Chapel Filled with a Large Audience of Coloured People,” Chicago Herald, January 3, 1893, 5; J. T. Jenifer, “Chicago Items,” Christian Recorder, January 19, 1893. This speech, or at least large portions of it, was delivered on multiple occasions. Frederic May Holland, for example, reports that Douglass delivered lines identical to those in his Quinn Chapel oration in his March 16, 1892 speech at the Tremont Temple in Boston (Frederick Douglass, 394–5), and many versions exist in the Frederick Douglass Papers, Speech File, reel 17, frames 356–62, 379–89, 396–400, 417–56, and 477–530. ╇ 5 The rhetorical implications of the publication of this pamphlet and other efforts to publish these speeches, while particularly rich, lie beyond the scope of this discussion. ╇ 6 There are, to my knowledge, no published analyses that systematically compare the intentions and rhetorical contexts of the two speeches. Although William S. McFeely dedicates significant space to Douglass’s participation in the Exposition in his biography of Douglass (Frederick Douglass), he makes no reference to the speeches or events of January 2, 1893. In his discussion of African American responses to Haiti, Leon Pamphile quotes from both speeches (Haitians, 87–8). David Chesebrough (Frederick Douglass, 78), Barbara Ballard (“African-Â�American Protest,” 108–24), and Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo (Black Cosmopolitanism, 147–50) provide some analysis of the second speech. Robert S. Levine, who calls the orations “two of the most searching and revelatory speeches of [Douglass’s] late career,” provides brief, but insightful analysis (Dislocating, 233–6). Notable exceptions to my claim that late-Â�nineteenth-century African American rhetoric has been understudied include Elizabeth McHenry’s Forgotten Readers, Shirley Logan’s “We are Coming” and Liberating Language, and Laura L. Behling’s “Reification and Resistance.” ╇ 7 Yarborough, “Race,” 172. ╇ 8 Levine, Dislocating, 231; Ballard, “African-Â�American Protest,” 109; Rydell, All the World’s, 40. ╇ 9 McFeeley, Frederick Douglass, 365. 10 Frederick Douglass, “Introduction,” in Wells et al., Reason, 9, 13, 11; Ballard, “African-Â�American Protest,” 109. For further discussion of Douglass’s participation in the Exposition and the racial issues that characterized it, see Logan, “We Are Coming,” 101–3; McFeely, Frederick Douglass, 365–71; Rydell, All the World’s, 52–3; Rydell, “Editor’s Introduction,” in Wells et al., Reason, xi–xlviii; Cheesebrough, Frederick Douglass, 78–9; Pamphile, Haitians, 87–8; Gilbert, Perfect Cities, 80–2, 109–117; Burg, Chicago’s White City, 108–9, 210–11, 216, 320–5. 11 Hunt, Haiti’s Influence, 100, 98, 89, 93. 12 Yarborough, “Race,” 174, 179–80. While I draw connections between the portrayal of manhood in “The Heroic Slave” and the Pavilion speech, I do not share Yarborough’s negative assessment of Douglass’s strategic choices in the first text. 13 As noted in Chapter 1, Douglass had complicated and difficult feelings and a difficult role in the ultimately failed negotiations for the Môle St. Nicolas. For additional information, see McFeely, Frederick Douglass, 346–58; Montague, Haiti and the United States, 157–9; Himelhoch, “Frederick Douglass.” For a highly critical reading of Douglass’s role in the Môle St. Nicolas controversy, see John Michael, Identity, 224–34. 14 Most historians’ assessments of President Hyppolite are not so sanguine as Douglass’s perspective. See, for example, McFeely, Frederick Douglass, 367. 15 Since the early years of the nineteenth century, African Americans presented powerful, often richly ironic speeches highly critical of slavery, the slave trade, and European expansion into the Americas before black audiences (see Bacon and McClish, “Descendents of Africa”). 16 Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 166.

Douglass and the Haitian Revolution  •  139 17 See Hine and Jenkins, “Introduction,” 2–3, 30–1; Horton, Free People, 387, 391; Booker, “I Will Wear No Chain!” 57–8; Wilder, In the Company, 123–7, 131–41; Bacon, Freedom’s Journal, 123. 18 Douglass, Narrative, 57, 72. 19 Douglass, “Introduction,” 15; Levine, Dislocating, 234. Michael offers a contrasting – and highly critical – view of Douglass’s conception of masculinity (Identity, 201–34). 20 David Swing, “Introductory,” in Douglass, Lecture on Haiti, 4. 21 Levine, Dislocating, 235.

Figure 2 the march: General Louverture collected forces at Marmelade, and on October 9, 1794, leaves with five hundred men to capture San Miguel. © 2009 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

9

No Man Could Hinder Him Remembering Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution in the History and Culture of the African American People Maurice Jackson

W. E. B. Du Bois first wrote about Haiti in The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the US, 1638–1870 (1896). He observed that “the role which the great Negro Toussaint, called L’Ouverture, played in the history of the United States has seldom been fully appreciated.” He added, “Representing the age of revolution in America, he rose to leadership through a bloody terror, which contrived a Negro ‘problem’ for the Western Hemisphere, intensified and defined the anti-Â�slavery movement, became one of the causes and probably the prime one, which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana for a song, and finally, through the interworking of all these effects, rendered more certain the final prohibition of the slave-Â�trade by the United States in 1807.”1 The more conservative Booker T. Washington also saw the importance of the Haitian Revolution. While visiting Paris on June 8, 1899 he wrote that One of the things I had in mind when I came to France was to visit the tomb of Toussaint L’Ouverture, but I have just learned from some Haytian gentlemen residing here that the grave of the general is in the northern part of France, and these same gentlemen inform me that his burial place is still minus a monument of any description. It seems that it has been in the minds of the Haytians for some time to remove the body to Hayti, but this far it has been neglected. The Haytian government and people owe it to themselves, it seems to me, to see that the resting place of the great hero be given a proper memorial either there in France or on the island.2 In a book review of Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery in Dial magazine in 1901, Du Bois also wrote of the Haitian Revolution. Challenging This chapter is excerpted, in modified form, from Maurice Jackson, “â•›‘Friends of the Negro! Fly with me, The path is open to the sea’: Remembering the Haitian Revolution in the History, Music, and Culture of the African American People,” Early American Studies (Spring 2008): 77–103. Copyright © 2008 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

142  •  Jackson Washington’s more conservative approach towards Black equality, Du Bois wrote that “among the black slaves at the South arose the avenging Nat Turner, fired up by the memory of Toussaint the Savior.”3 Du Bois next wrote about Haiti in his book John Brown (1909), noting that “out of the dirt and sloth of slavery of the West Indies, the black inert and heavy cloud of African degradation writhed to sudden life and lifted up the dark figure of Toussaint.” For Du Bois, “John Brown was born just as the shudder of Hayti was running through all the Americas, and from his earliest boyhood he saw and felt the price of repression.”4 Du Bois then, in 1909, helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, at the site of John Brown’s 1859 attack on the government arsenal. Not coincidentally it was the 50th anniverasary of the attack. In 1915 the United States sent troops to Haiti, making it a US protectorate. Du Bois and the NAACP organized opposition to the US occupation of Haiti in 1915. He wrote in the Crisis, the official organ of the NAACP, an editorial titled “Shame on America!” and called for “ten million Americans to write to the White House to demand an interracial presidential commission to bring a quick, honorable end to American violation of the republic’s sovereignty.” Du Bois ended his article proclaiming that “Haiti can, and will, work out her destiny .â•›.â•›. and is more civilized today than Texas.”5 That same year Booker T. Washington showed a lack of understanding of the causes of the conditions of the people of Haiti. As he at times blamed the black victims of the Jim Crow conditions imposed by white society, he wrote in September of 1915 that “we can learn some mighty lessons just now from the conditions in Liberia and Hayti. For years both in Liberia and Hayti, literary education and politics have been emphasized, but while doing this the people have failed to apply themselves to the development of the soil, mines and forests.”6 At a protest in 1920 over the US occupation and policy of favoring the mulatto caste, an estimated two thousand were killed. Nevertheless, army troops remained until August 15, 1934, when the American occupation ended. In 1919 the Second Pan-Â�African Congress was held in Paris, with Du Bois presiding. As Du Bois’s biographer David Levering Lewis wrote, “Among the 120-odd men and women assembling on a clear Sunday morning in the narrow rue Blanche not far from Place de l’Opéra were delegates from Indochina, India, Madagascar, the Philippines, the British and French Antilles, the independent nations of Haiti, Liberia and Ethiopia, more than thirty from the United States (including Florence Kelly and the Arthur Spingarns)” and from “every region of sub-Â�Saharan Africa.”7 Anna Julia Cooper, who had worked with Du Bois at the first Pan-Â�African Conference, in 1900, wrote her University of Paris doctoral thesis on slavery in France and Haiti in 1925. She was a rarity in the field because she was not only a black woman, but also sixty-Â�six years old. Her subsequent book, Slavery and the French Revolutionists, 1788–1805, called attention to the similarity between the social conditions of blacks in the British and those of blacks in French colonies

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  143 and their attitudes toward Haiti. Cooper also was one of the first writers to show how events in Saint Domingue had influenced the internal situation in France. African American Cultural Voices The poet Langston Hughes mentioned Haiti in his poem “The Same,” written in 1932: “It would be the same for Blacks everywhere until Blacks and workers united .â•›.â•›. From the coffee hills of Haiti to the streets of Harlem.”8 Hughes had first learned of Haiti from his grandmother, who recounted tales of the revolt of the slaves in the 1790s. She told him about the black generals. It was from her that he first learned of Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe – who all remained his heroes for his entire life. Hughes’s great-Â�uncle was John Mercer Langston (1829–1897), a founder and later dean of the Howard University Law School. He had been approached, as had Frederick Douglass, to join John Brown on his Harper’s Ferry raid. Like Douglass, he declined, but he, also like Douglass, held Brown in the highest esteem. And like Douglass, he figured that he would be more beneficial to the cause of his people alive than dead. From 1877 to 1885 he served as resident minister and consul general in Haiti and chargé d’affaires in the Dominican Republic. Frederick Douglass also served as resident minister and consul general to the Republic of Haiti and chargé d’affaires to the Dominican Republic. Hughes had an early understanding and appreciation for the Republic of Haiti. In “A Letter from Haiti,” written for the New Masses magazine in 1931, he stated, “Haiti is a hot tropical little country, all mountains and sea, a lot of marines, mulatto politicians, and a world of black people without shoes – who catch hell.” He added, “The Citadel, twenty miles away on a mountaintop, is a splendid, lovely monument to the genius of a black king – Christophe. Stronger, vaster, more beautiful than you could imagine, it stands in futile ruin now, the iron cannon rusting, the bronze one turning green, the great passages and deep stairways alive with bats, while the planes of the United States Marines hum daily overhead.” Hughes quoted the epitaph at the monument: “Here lies Henri Christophe, King of Haiti. I am reborn from my ashes.” Hughes used this as a lodestar for the black race. In 1931 he wrote about Dessalines, whom he described as “the bravest of the brave” of Toussaint’s generals, although he later became “despotic as an emperor.” In 1936 Arna Bontemps published Black Thunder, subtitled Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia, 1800. In that work Bontemps clearly shows that men like Gabriel were deeply in tune with the political discourse and events of the day. They knew of the 1791 uprising by the blacks in Haiti and of their long battle for independence from France. And they were also aware that in the 1800s Toussaint’s forces took control of French Saint Domingue. Slaves like Gabriel, who had taught themselves to read and write, were well aware of the rhetoric of the American Revolution and sought to use the same principles to secure their own freedom by mixing the idea of the American Revolutionaries and the Haitians. The anthropologist Melville Herskovits wrote in 1937 that “Haiti has fared badly at the hands of its literary interpreters. Condescension and caricature have

144  •  Jackson been called upon, especially in recent years, to provide a short cut to an understanding of the people and their institutions.”9 Black writers had long expressed the same viewpoint. In 1939 Arna Bontemps published Drums at Dusk. He used C. L. R. James’ Black Jacobins as one of his key sources in the historical novel. Long out of print, Michael P. Bibler and Jessica Adams argue in their incisive introduction to a new edition that Bontemps was “responding to the mainstream portrayals of Haiti – many of them rather lurid – that had been circulating during the 1920s and 1930s, when the US Military occupied the island nation.” They note that “Drums dwells more on the local and global political forces that helped precipitate revolutions than on actors who seized the opportunities created by those forces.”10 Drums also gives attention to an organization that Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, and James had paid close attention to, The Société des Amis des Noirs (The Society of the Friends of the Blacks) founded in 1788 and composed of French antislavery personalities like the Marquis de la Fayette, the Marquis de Condorcet, the Abbé Grégoire, and Jacques Pierre Brissot. This organization had been inspired by the French-Â�born, Philadelphia-Â�based antislavery leader Anthony Benezet (1713–1784). Benezet had also founded The African Free School or School for Black People that had been attended by Absalom Jones and Richard Allen.11 Bontemps also published The Story of the Negro in 1948 in which three chapters deal with the Haitian Revolution.12 Beginning in the mid- to late 1930s, Langston Hughes worked on an opera with William Grant Still titled “Troubled Island,” but constantly ran into enormous difficulties raising the needed funds for production costs. On May 30, 1949 the play was finally presented in New York at the Center City. Hughes biographer Arnold Rampersad wrote that “it was also an historic event for race relations – the first opera written by blacks to be produced by a major American company.”13 A number of Hughes’s contemporaries, such as the Jamaican-Â�born Claude McKay, were also aware of the Haitian realities. In his novel Banjo, McKay’s main character, the Haitian-Â�born Ray, is “bitterly critical of the US occupation of Haiti, and shows his pride at being ‘a son of a free nation.’â•›”14 Melvin Tolson, the poet who became an English and speech professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, also expressed his appreciation for the Haitian Revolution and passed his thoughts down to his many students at Wiley and later at Langston University in Oklahoma. He also was a key chronicler of the cultural life of Harlem, beginning during the Harlem Renaissance clear up until his death in 1966. Joy Flasch, a biographer of Melvin Tolson, who was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2007 film, the Great Debaters, wrote of Tolson once asking a white lady, Mrs. George Markwell, who allowed him to use her library, if it were true as her daughter had told him that “the only Negro of worth is Booker T. Washington, and the only reason he has excelled is that he is half white.” Mrs. Markwell immediately sent him to a book on her shelf, Thomas Carlyle’s French Revolution, “and told him to look through the illustrations until he found the

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  145 answer himself.” Doing so “he came to a picture of a magnificent white stallion on which was mounted a jet-Â�black man resplendent in uniform – Toussaint L’Ouverture. He never forgot the lesson, and in the years ahead racial pride became one of the chief themes of his conversations, lectures and poetry.”15 In such a way the image and meaning of Toussaint affected generations of others before and after Tolson. Only a few salient points about two well-Â�known authors, Guy Endore and C. L. R. James, need to be included here. In 1934 Guy Endore wrote Babouk, which is loosely based on the Haitian insurrections of 1791. The author describes, using historical imagination and a novelist’s abilities, how slavery affected the island and how colonialism and slavery conspired, and he shows the black response. Endore centers his story on the slave “known as Boukman, Baukmann, or Boukman Dutty Babouk. Babouk is thus half-Â�Boukman and half invented, as his name already suggests.â•›.â•›.â•›. He emerges in the leading Haitian textbook as the most famous revolutionary before the rise of Toussaint L’Ouverture.”16 In reality, Boukman was the leader of the maroon uprising in the north of Saint Domingue, which soon spread to the south and west. In the next two months more than 2,000 whites and 10,000 slaves were killed and over 1,000 plantations were destroyed. Boukman’s forces were defeated in large part because of Haiti’s free blacks and mulattoes, who joined with the whites against his rebels.17 The historian David Barry Gaspar and the anthropologist Michel-Â�Rolph Trouillot believe that “Babouk’s first publication must also be set against the background of the silence of Western historians on the Haitian Revolution.” They argue that “in the 1930s, the deeds of Saint-Â�Domingue’s slaves had no place in the annals of Western history.” In the end they believe that many US writers “took advantage of the 1914 [sic]–1934 occupation to produce their own versions of sensationalist fiction or travel accounts.”18 Much has been written of the seminal importance and meaning of The Black Jacobins, which C. L. R. James, a historian and activist, wrote in 1938. Born in Trinidad in 1901, James was influenced by events in the Caribbean and on the world stage. He saw the Haitian Revolution as an example of the potential of the black masses to change society and better their conditions and of the power of the white elite and its power structure to suppress revolutionary zeal and actions. Thirty years later, characterizing the events in Haiti as a part of the struggle for the freedom of people of African descent worldwide, he wrote in 1969, during the height of the Black Power movement, that 1789 was “a landmark in the history of Negro revolt in the West Indies. The only successful Negro revolt, the only successful slave revolt in history, had its roots in the French Revolution, and without the French Revolution its success would have been impossible.”19 In the preface to The Black Jacobins, James wrote: “The writer believes – and is confident the narrative will prove – that between 1789 and 1815, with the single exception of Bonaparte himself, no single figure appeared on the historical stage more greatly gifted than this Negro, a slave untill he was 45. Yet Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint. And even

146  •  Jackson this is not the whole truth.”20 James ended his work linking Haiti to the world stage: “Imperialism vaunts its exploitation of the wealth of Africa for the benefit of civilization.” He concluded, “The African faces a long and difficult road and he will need guidance. But he will tread it fast because he will walk upright,”21 just as Toussaint had. References to Toussaint Louverture were found in literary journals as well as books. New Masses, a progressive literary journal, published an essay by Ralph Ellison, “Mister Toussan,” in its issue of November 4, 1941. In this essay Ellison used black dialogue – the natural rhythms and syntax of southern blacks. In some ways this “folk” language had grown out of favor during the Harlem Renaissance, when the “the New Negro” was someone versed in high or European culture. Men such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Sterling Brown and women such as Zora Neale Hurston, however, saw nothing contradictory in the concept of the “New Negro” or anything offensive, in their usage of the black colloquial speech. “Mister Toussan” depicts two African American boys, Buster and Riley, who have grown up hearing only negative images about Africa. At one point Buster tells Riley, “The geography books says they ’bout the most lazy folks in the whole world, just black and lazy.” Riley challenges Buster: “Aw naw, they ain’t neither.” Buster retorts, “They is too! The geography book says they is.” Riley does not back down. He has learned otherwise about Africa and Africans and tells Buster, “Well, my old man says they ain’t.” Buster asks, “Why come they ain’t?” And Riley gives him the definite answer, “Cause my old man says that over there they got kings and diamonds and gold and ivory, and if they got all them things, all of ’em caint be lazy.”22 Buster feels relieved and shares with Riley what he has learned in school. The teacher “tole us bout one of the African guys named Toussan what she said whipped Napoleon.” Riley now believes that Buster is the one lying, but Buster doesn’t relent. “Really man, she said Toussan and his men got up on one of them African mountains and shot down them peckerwood soldiers fass as they’d try to come up.” Buster continues, “And Toussan drove ’em cross the sand.â•›.â•›.â•›. Man, they had on red uniforms and blue hats all trimmed with gold and they had some swords all shining, what they called sweet blades of Damascus .â•›.â•›. and the leader’s name was Toussan.” Dumbfounded, Riley exclaims, “Toozan! Just like Tarzan,” whereupon Buster scolds him, “Not Taar-Â�zan, dummy, Toou-Â�zan.”23 Soon Toussan became a giant figure to these young black boys. And then Buster becomes Toussaint Louverture as he fights some whites.24 The whites beg for his mercy: “Please, Please, Please Mister Toussan, we’ll be good.” Toussan responds “in his big deep voice: You all peckerwoods better be good, ’cause this is sweet Papa Toussan talking and my nigguhs is crazy ’bout white meat!”25 In black vernacular the term sweet confers a sense of honor to the person so described. Sweet Daddy Grace was the beloved leader of the United House of Prayer, the black evangelical church and movement. He provided his followers with a sense of dignity and forbearance in a wicked, selfish, and materialist world. Walter “Sweetness” Payton, the late Hall of Fame running back for the Chicago

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  147 Bears, combined strength with agility and calm domination over his opponents. Sweet Papa Toussan was the hero to the younger generation of black males in Ellison’s work. Riley wonders why the teacher had not told them of Toussaint. He asks, “Hecks, man, all the stories my teacher tells us is good. She’s a good ole teacher – but you know one thing .â•›.â•›. ain’t none of them stories in the books. Wonder why?” Buster answers, “Hell, you know why, Ole Toussan was too hard on them white folks, thass why.” Yet the boys believed Toussaint was a noble man.26 Buster affirms as much: “Oh he was hard man! He was mean.â•›.â•›.â•›. But a good mean.â•›.â•›.â•›. Toussan was clean.” In Buster and Riley’s black vernacular, clean had two meanings. On the one hand it meant to be neat and fashionable in dress and style. On the other it meant to fight fairly. “He was a good, clean mean,” says Riley. Buster adds, “Aw man he was sooo-Â�preme.”27 Ellison, as Dorothea Fischer-Â�Hornung has observed, “masterly sketches Toussan’s traits and his accomplishments in his confrontation with Napoleon’s army in Haiti through the boys’ enthusiastic rendition of the hero’s deeds.”28 This is again made evident as Riley, who learned about the Haitian events from Buster, says, “Come on, watch me do it now, Buster. Now I bet old Toussan looked down at them white folks standing just about like this and said in a soft easy voice: ‘Ain’t I done begged you white folks to quit messin’ with me?’â•›”29 The two boys, combining their dreams and imaginations, re-Â�create and inflate the images of the Haitian Revolution and of the leader Toussaint. They are engaged in what Ellison called “a verbal jam session,” in which African Americans “sit around and marvel at what a damnable marvelous human being, what a confounding human type the Negro American really is.” They take turns swapping tales just as jazz musicians trade notes and riffs. “In the process,” according to Ellison, “the individual is enlarged. It’s as though a transparent overlay of archetypal myth is being placed over the life of an individual, and through him we see ourselves. This, of course, is what literature does with life; these verbal jam sessions are indeed a form of folk literature and they help us to define our own experience.”30 The boys become Toussaint, and they too are victorious. As the literary historian Robert G. O’Meally put it, “This stretched version of the incident serves to remind us that, at the actual Haitian revolt, the tale of the black revolutionary grew into a kind of folktale and spread like wildfire among American slaves.”31 Toussaint in the form of Mister Toussan took his place alongside other heroes of African American folklore – Stagolee, Shine, the lone survivor of the ship Titanic, and John Henry.32 Paul Robeson and The Emperor Jones Paul Robeson had first become familiar with Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution as a seventeen-Â�year-old high school student in New Jersey in 1915, the year the US occupation of Haiti began. He entered the school’s debate contest, the only black to do so. He chose the same Wendell Phillips text that William Simmons had quoted on Toussaint Louverture. Robeson read Phillips’s

148  •  Jackson oration: “You may easily imagine the temper in which Mirabeau and Lafayette welcomed his munificent gift of the free mulattoes.â•›.â•›.â•›. Toussaint defeated them, took Laveaux out of prison, and put him at the head of his own troops. The grateful French in return named him General-Â�in-Chief. Cet homme fait l’ouverture partout, said one – ‘This man makes an opening everywhere,’ – hence his soldiers named him l’Ouverture, the opening.”33 Robeson performed so admirably that Frederic K. Shield, a Rutgers University senior and panel judge, said that when Robeson took the stage, “it was as if somebody’s life was being saved, somebody important.”34 That person was Toussaint. Although he believed that the discrimination of the day might have prevented him from being considered for first prize (he came in third), his interest in Toussaint and the Haitian Revolution stayed with him. On November 1, 1920, Eugene O’Neill presented his play The Emperor Jones in a Provincetown Playhouse production. Playing the Emperor was the black actor Charles Gilpin. This was a major breakthrough, for it was the custom and the rule in the theater for whites to play black roles. The Emperor Jones was a compilation of the many black leaders of the Haitian Revolution, but above all Toussaint and Christophe. Gilpin was masterful in the role, but he was soon replaced by O’Neill, allegedly because of alcoholism. He was replaced by the young Paul Robeson, whose performance received rave reviews “for his emotional strength” and “superb acting.” In 1921 the play was taken to Broadway. Appearing the same year that Eubie Blake’s Shuffle Along made its debut with an all-Â�black cast, it was an immediate success. On one occasion while in London Robeson told the Reynolds Illustrated News: “When my .â•›.â•›. audiences watch me play the Emperor Jones, the role of the bad Negro who captures and tyrannizes over the primitives of a tropic isle, they see a modern Negro roll up the centuries and reveal primeval man.â•›.â•›.â•›. One does not need a very long racial memory to lose oneself in such a part.” He added, “As I act, civilization falls away from me. My plight becomes real, the horrors terrible facts. I feel the terror of the slave mart, the degradations of the man bought and sold into slavery. Well, I am the son of an emancipated slave and the stories of my old father are his own. He is emerging from centuries of oppression and prejudice.”35 In 1933 the film The Emperor Jones was released. DuBose Heyward, the author of Porgy, was commissioned to adapt the play to the screen. In the film (as in the play) Brutus Jones, played by Paul Robeson, is a Pullman porter, a prized job for a black man and a self-Â�described ladies’ man. Jones gets into an argument over a craps game (shooting dice) with a friend, kills him, and is sent to prison. When a sadistic white prison guard beats him, Jones kills the guard and escapes. Fleeing the United States, he heads to an unnamed island. First working for a white merchant, he eventually rises to power on this mysterious island (which is, in the imagination, Haiti) and is cursed with issues of control, abuse, and power. Jones becomes a brutal, conniving, and confidant ruler. As he parades along the corridors of the palace, their walls outfitted with mirrors, he dubs himself King Brutus. He is not satisfied with his new self-Â�given title and declares, “Somehow

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  149 that don’t make enough noise,” and he proclaims himself the Emperor Jones. Intoxicated by power, Jones is deposed from the throne and flees to the jungle, where he is captured and killed. The movie focused on the failures of Henri Christophe’s rule over Haiti. The ambiguity, exoticness, and mystique of Haiti seemed to take on a life of its own during the Harlem Renaissance, and The Emperor Jones played into this. It highlighted the tortured political history and “savagery” that were often associated with Haiti, while at the same time it showed the beauty of its culture and landscape. The film historian Donald Bogle has observed that “surely, as Robeson was seen standing by his throne with a crown on his head and a scepter in his hand, as he ordered his old white partner about, black audiences must have felt immensely proud and fond of that badd nigger up there on the screen, telling them white folks to get outta his way and give him room to breathe.”36 Bogle believes The Emperor Jones gave Robeson his finest role, but he thinks it tainted because “the Negro was presented as a murderer and rogue.”37 The Emperor Jones homed in on Haiti as an excellent example of a country that fought for its own independence; it eventually became the first black country in the Western Hemisphere. The play and film caused blacks and whites to reflect on agency and independence among blacks worldwide. Some blacks and whites saw Paul Robeson’s involvement in the film as degrading to black people and their culture. They believed his role as a power-Â�hungry, greedy, and selfish tyrant fed the negative stereotypes associated with black men. As one modern critic noted, the movie maps Jones’s identity with “a Haitian primitivism that replicates the same Victorian racial dichotomies of white man/rational, black man/ irrational that are endemic to nineteenth century colonialism.”38 When the film premiered in September 1933, it opened simultaneously to segregated audiences. White people viewed it at the Rivoli Theater in New York’s downtown theater district, and blacks viewed it at the Roosevelt Theater uptown in Harlem. The black press was critical of the film. The headline of the New York Amsterdam News on September 27, 1933, read, “Harlem Dislikes ‘Nigger.’â•›” Ted Poston wrote in the paper that the constant use of the word nigger in the film constituted a “shame and a disgrace.” Soon after, on November 2, 1933, the Philadelphia Tribune editorialized that it found not “one redeeming feature” in the movie. In 1934 the famed Soviet director Sergei M. Eisenstein sent Robeson a letter inviting him to the USSR. The historian Martin Duberman notes that “Eisenstein had long been an admirer of black culture and was interested in making a film about Toussaint L’Ouverture, the liberator of Haiti and his successor, Christophe, a subject long dear to Robeson’s heart as well.”39 Robeson arrived in Moscow on December 20, 1934. The film was to be called Black Majesty.40 The plan, according to Duberman, was to cast Robeson as Christophe or Dessalines, and Solomon Mikhoels, the Yiddish actor and director, as Toussaint. Unfortunately, the film was never made. Duberman notes that the novelist Waldo Frank had sent Robeson a script for a possible play on Toussaint as well.

150  •  Jackson C. L. R. James had also written a play, Toussaint L’Ouverture. James recalled fifty years later that “one night in Manchester, Paul proposed that the play tour with me as Dessalines.”41 It opened at the Westminster Theatre in London in 1936. He secured Paul Robeson for the play, and Paul Buhle, a C. L. R. James scholar, claims: “Robeson saved the play and might have gone on to give it a commercial performance (as the two imagined James himself and Robeson in the Toussaint and Dessalines roles!), had not Robeson’s inclinations towards Communism and James’ towards Trotskyism interfered.”42 But, according to Robeson’s biographer Dorothy Gilliam, “The play was never produced beyond the two scheduled performances given by the Stage Society at the Westminster Theatre in March.”43 The composer Louis Gruenberg had written an opera titled The Silver Bullet, with a libretto by Kathleen de Jaffa, which was briefly performed in 1933. Silver Bullet was the name O’Neill had originally given to his play The Emperor Jones; Brutus Jones had been killed by a silver bullet. In 1932 Ouanga! an African American opera about Haiti, was performed.44 According to Michael Largey, John Frederick Matheus, Ouanga!’s librettist, said that he had learned about Dessalines through a Garveyite newspaper. Largey argues that Dessalines’s legend circulated in African Americans’ oral tradition and that, considering Dessalines’s antipathy toward slaveholders, it makes sense that African Americans might have been wary to publish much about Dessalines, for fear of reprisal by white readers. Jacob Lawrence and the Visualization of the Haitian Revolution Jacob Lawrence looked to literature and history for inspiration. When his family moved to New York City during his adolescence, he became a product of the intense cultural upsurge in Harlem during the 1930s.45 Lawrence frequented the New York Public Library, where he read voluminously on art, culture, and history and followed the latest journals and the daily papers.46 It was there that he might have read John W. Vandercook’s Black Majesty: The Life of Christophe, King of Haiti, published in 1928.47 The book included drawings by Mahlon Blaine of scenes of the revolt and of Christophe and other leaders, which served as inspiration for Lawrence’s later work on Toussaint. Vandercook’s book affected Countee Cullen so deeply that he wrote the poem “Black Majesty.”48 The poem was published in the May 1928 issue of Opportunity, the magazine of the National Urban League.49 Lawrence was also influenced by W. E. B. Du Bois.50 Lawrence was an American, but he also was an African American and an African American artist. He knew that he had to define himself, and as a painter he came to be known best as a social realist, abstractionist, and visual narrator of the American black experience and the struggle of blacks for freedom from oppression. Lawrence told of seeing a W. E. B. Du Bois play on the life of Toussaint Louverture in the mid-Â�1930s and assumed it had been written by the man he admired, since Du Bois had written about Haiti in his doctoral thesis and other works. According to Du Bois’s biographer David Levering Lewis, however, the play was written not by

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  151 the African American W. E. B. Du Bois, but by a white playwright named William DuBois.51 Inspired nonetheless, Lawrence decided to paint on the subject. In 1938, at the age of twenty-Â�one, Lawrence completed and exhibited a series of paintings on the life of Toussaint. He felt that one painting would not do the job, so he decided to do a series, and it became known as the Toussaint L’Ouverture series of 1937–1938. Lawrence’s works consisted of forty-Â�one paintings, “gouache paintings on paper,” outlining the history of the Haitian Revolution, each telling a unique aspect of the story.52 It was funded by the Works Project Administration (WPA) and the Federal Arts Project (FAP). Lawrence wrote, “I’ve always been interested in history, but they never taught Negro history in the public schools.â•›.â•›.â•›. It was never studied seriously like regular subjects. My first real introduction to Negro history was when I was very young – thirteen, I imagine – when a Mr. Allen spoke on it at Utopia House. He spoke about Toussaint L’Ouverture.” At the same time, Lawrence noted, “most of my information came from Charles Beard’s book Toussaint L’Ouverture. I read other books – there were more novels than anything else. One book – I don’t even remember its name – told me of the conditions on the island, and its resources. It gave a short sketch of the history of the Haitian Revolution.” Lawrence concluded, “I’m not a politician; I’m an artist just trying to do my part to bring this thing about. I had several reasons for doing this work and these are some of them. Someone had to do it. Another reason is that I have great admiration for the life of such a man as Toussaint L’Ouverture.”53 If Lawrence ever found out that the play had not been written by his hero W. E. B. Du Bois, according to Lewis, he never let on.54 As the art historian Ellen Wheat has written, “The Toussaint series focuses on the mistreatment of the Haitian natives by the colonial farmers and military leaders and on Toussaint’s heroic struggle to educate himself, fight the military leader’s occupational forces and achieve the independence of Haiti.”55 Lawrence’s series was shown at the Baltimore Museum of Art (where it was the first black one-Â�man show outside Harlem) and funded by the Harmon Foundation, and at the De Porres Interracial Council Headquarters on Vesey Street, many blocks outside Harlem. The work was also shown at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago and won second prize. The Toussaint series is an excellent example of how Lawrence chose to celebrate the spirit and politics of the black American identity.56 In their book Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence, Peter T. Nesbett and Michelle DuBois comment that “on one level Toussaint may be seen, and was surely utilized by Lawrence, as a hero of mythic proportions, an inspiration and a source for the formation of black self-Â�conception and identity. Black participation in history is, after all, one of Lawrence’s favorite themes.”57 Some critics questioned whether the young painter really understood the deeper implications of painting the story of the Haitian leader. Nesbett and DuBois answer: “By the way the theme is handled and understood, the way Toussaint is

152  •  Jackson used is also a key to determining the degree of political engagement of the artist. How did Lawrence understand this dramatic story of the struggle for Haitian independence from the French and liberation of the slave population under the leadership of General Toussaint L’Ouverture?” They also ask, “Was it simply a colorful George Washington saga, a demonstration that black history is as distinguished and inspiring as that of white America? Or was the artist attracted by its historical significance to the birth of the black separatist movement, as an allegorical model for civil rights stirrings in twentieth-Â�century United States, culminating in the events of the 1960s? What did the story of Toussaint mean to Jacob Lawrence? .â•›.â•›. Did the artist understand the deeper implications of the story in connection with black separatism and immigration from the United States?”58 Lawrence responded to his detractors only obliquely. Reflecting on the series and the correlations between Haiti and Harlem, Lawrence noted in 1941, “If these people (who are so much worse off than the people today) could conquer their slavery, we certainly can do the same thing.”59 That was answer enough to his critics. Between 1986 and 1997 Lawrence, in conjunction with his close friend Lou Stovall, the noted Washington, DC-Â�based master printmaker, produced silkscreens based on fifteen of the original forty-Â�one paintings. These prints were smaller in scale than the originals, and some of the images were changed slightly as they were translated from painting to silkscreen, according to the art historian Peter Nesbett.60 Lawrence clearly saw the Haitian Revolution as a mechanism of change for black Americans. By depicting Toussaint’s struggle, Lawrence immediately brought to the attention of the American public the success of revolution and the fight for independence of the Haitian people. The series attempted to connect Haitians and black Americans, and it was the first of many that Lawrence would paint about important figures in African American history. Katherine Dunham, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alan Lomax The folklorist Harold Courlander has noted that “the African-Â�style song of social criticism has found no worthier subjects than the political figures of Haiti.”61 This extends to the social and cultural reality of the island. The dancer, anthropologist, and choreographer Katherine Dunham subtly introduced Haiti and its history to audiences in the United States. Like Langston Hughes, she was struck by the sharp class and color divisions among Haitians. Dunham thought the Haitian government feared her work, which might reveal “the irreconcilable breach between the thin upper crust of the Haitian elite – who would have liked to be rulers of the land, participating in the revolution only to get rid of the French – and the bubbling, churning ferment of the black peasants, who really were by numbers and by historical content and character and humanness, I was to find, the true Haitian people.”62 Zora Neale Hurston wrote her classic Their Eyes Were Watching God while spending six weeks in Haiti in 1937.63 Her next work, Tell My Horse, was based

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  153 on her fieldwork in Haiti and Jamaica in 1938 and was given a prominent review in the Journal of Negro History by Carter G. Woodson the next year.64 Toussaint, Christophe, Haiti, and the Revolution in Jazz Music One of the first recorded mentions of Haiti, in a musical sense, is by Francis “Frank” Johnson (1792–1844) who, according to the late African American ethnomusicologist Eileen Southern, “published a piece in honor of Haiti when France finally recognized that Black republic’s independence on April 17, 1825, (Haiti had declared her independence in 1804).”63 His title page reads as follows: “Recognition March of the independence of Hayti for Pianoforte and Flute, composed expressly for the Occasion and Dedication to President J. P. [Jean Pierre] Boyer by his humble servant with every sentiment of Respect.”66 Southern surmises that “indeed Johnson may have written his piece in direct response to the activities of colonization groups that thought emigration to Haiti was the solution to the problems of Black oppression in the United States.”67 Johnson composed and published over 200 pieces including the song “The Grave of a Slave.” Sarah Forten, daughter of James Forten and a charter member of the Philadelphia Abolition Society, wrote the lyrics. Some of the lines read “Poor slave, shall we sorrow that Death was thy Friend/The last and the kindest that heaven could send?/The grave to the weary is welcome and blest/And death to the captive is freedom and rest.” Johnson’s band, which played both American popular and European classical music and songs, toured all over North America, except for the Deep South, and it is believed that he was the first American to take his band to give concerts overseas. He performed in 1838 for Queen Victoria and in appreciation she gave him a silver bugle.68 Yet it is not until the twentieth century that the Haitian Revolution took a prominent place in the world of music. In 1915, the legendary clarinetist and soprano saxophonist, Sidney Bechet, 1897–1949 wrote “Haitian Suite.” It was not recorded, at the time, although a copy of the music is archived at Tulane University in New Orleans. In 1938, Bechet formed the Haitian Orchestra, and on November 22, 1939, he recorded Haitian Orchestra in New York City, which included such tunes as “Original Haitian Music” Parts 1–4. On the session was Willie “The Lion” Smith on piano, Olin Alderhold on contrabass, and Leo Warney on drums. The music was arranged by Kenneth Roane, who also doubled as the trumpeter.69 Musicologist Bruce Boyd Raeburn calls the Bechet, Smith Haitian Band collaboration “the first experiment in the fusion of jazz and African-Â�Caribbean music ever documented.”70 In the 1962 Stinson Records reissue of the album, titled Haitian Moods, jazz historian Robert George Reisner wrote that “added too is a spirit of carnival, fiesta, calypso, New Orleans marches and Haitian rhythms.” He adds that “the numbers are divided between rhumbas and meringues. The meringue is a national Haitian dance which is possessed of seemingly indefatigable high spirits.”71 One of Bechet’s biographers, John Chilton, wrote that it was “the most bizarre date of Bechet’s career, in that all of the tunes were Latin-Â�American themes,

154  •  Jackson several exemplifying the music of Haiti. Almost every item was strictly arranged with little or no scope for improvisations. Bechet had a pronounced interest in music from various regions of the world and had become fascinated by some ‘field’ recordings made by Haitian reed players. Years earlier Willie ‘the Lion’ Smith and Duke Ellington had discussed, with admiration, various aspects of Haitian music. It was conceivable that Smith had mentioned these talks to Bechet, for the latter certainly went out of his way to ask Smith to play on the date. According to the pianist, Bechet met him on St. Nicholas Avenue.”72 Bechet also said “we should make some nice West Indian records because everyone is laughing and enjoying the Calypso songs.” Willie “The Lion” Smith said “the album was good musically but no one bought it. We were about twenty years early.” The greats among the jazz musicians – Bechet, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, and Ornette Coleman, among others – were also “about twenty years early” or ahead of their times. Musicologist Ernest Bornemann praised the Haitian session saying it was “the first deliberate reunion of Jazz and Afro-Â�Spanish Folk Music in History.”73 In his own autobiography Treat it Gentle, so named after one of his compositions, Bechet spoke of his reluctance to incorporate aspects of the human experience in his music: I remember another time when I was in England back in the early ’twenties. I’d written a play and I had the music to it, a lot of singing and melody. It had a story too, but nothing too complicated, nothing too involved that you couldn’t see it for what it was, just a show with music. I called it Voice of the Slaves.74 He showed the music to the producer who told him, “It’s very beautiful. I’d like to put it on but I don’t think the public is interested enough in colored people to put that kind of money it needs to be produced.” Bechet added that “I’m not saying what interpreting you can put around the facts, because I do not know myself for sure. I do know for sure, though, that music – a melody – a story – if it’s to be at home on the stage it has to be simple enough to tell you about itself.” Perhaps that was what he was doing with his simple Haitian melodies. Letting them tell the story of the Haitian people and of their music, their lives, and their struggles. Duke Ellington learned a good deal about Haiti and its revolution from the works of Rayford Logan, his old family friend.75 According to Ellington’s biographer John Edward Hasse, Ellington “owned 800 books on black history, and had underlined passages about Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner.”76 On January 23, 1943, the premiere of Ellington’s suite Black, Brown and Beige was held at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The Washington African American reported that Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Goodman, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Leopold Stokowski, Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes, and Alain Locke attended the performance.77 In the suite Ellington describes the story of an ageless African named Boola, his amalgamation of Babouk and Boukman, the rebel leader and high priest of

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  155 the 1791 slave revolt.78 Boola is taken from Africa, imprisoned and put on a slave ship, where, as Ellington describes it, “in the adjoining cabin, a woman is screaming – a symphony of torture.” Boola tries unsuccessfully to enlist in the American side during the Revolutionary War because “when things were darkest for the states, there came great warriors from the West Indies.” Ellington described Christophe as “Boola’s black brother from across the sea” who “had come to fight for his liberty.” He added, “Where was [Boola’s] liberty? .â•›.â•›. ‘All men are created equalâ•›.â•›.â•›.’ A noble document.â•›.â•›.â•›. But to Boola it was sheer hypocrisy.â•›.â•›.â•›. A mockery of men’s souls. Four million blacks wanted to be free!”79 Ellington seems to have studied a passage written by Du Bois: “Already as early as 1799, before the revolution in Hayti, the Haytian Negros had helped the United States.â•›.â•›.â•›. Eight hundred young freedmen, blacks and mulattoes, offered to take part in the expedition, and they fought valiantly in the siege and covered themselves in glory.â•›.â•›.â•›. Among the men who fought there was Christophe.”80 To fully appreciate the work and the meaning of Ellington’s dedication to his people, one needs to hear the music: the recorded explanation of Ellington, the sometimes thunderous and at other times gentle voice of Mahalia Jackson, the orchestral elegance of the violinist and trumpeter Ray Nance, the Joshua-Â�at-the-Â� Battle-of-Â�Jericho-like trumpet soundings of Cat Anderson and Clark Terry, and the brooding yet melodic phrasing of the baritone sax of Harry Carney and the tenor sax of Paul Gonsalves. Just as one could not possibly understand the full meaning of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit without hearing it and knowing the words, one could never appreciate the nature of Black, Brown and Beige without hearing it.81 Ellington wrote that for the slaves the concept of work took new meanings. In the program notes to the Carnegie Hall concert, under the movement “Black” is written, “work songs first – different songs according to different kinds of work – driving spikes, piling cotton, simple housework.”82 Ellington told the columnist Belle Ayer that Boola was a black who had “performed an outstanding deed or made a noteworthy contribution to the history of his race.”83 Boola’s singing of the work song was meant to reflect Christophe and southern slaves fighting for freedom. Ellington knew the dual meanings of the blacks’ existence that Du Bois had written about in his Souls of Black Folk. The slaves sang as they worked. The master, as Frederick Douglass wrote, might have seen it as a sign of contentment, but the slaves used songs to communicate, giving the words many meanings to express their feeling.84 On December 11, 1943, Ellington wrote a composition based on a new book, New World a-Â�Comin by Roi Ottley. Ottley wrote, “The Negro’s cause will rise or fall with America. He knows well that his destiny is intimately bound to that of the nation.â•›.â•›.â•›. For in spite of selfish interests a new world is a-Â�coming with the sweep and fury of the Resurrection.”85 Ellington later wrote, “I visualized this new world as a place in the distant future where there would be no war, no greed, no categorizations, no nonbelievers, where love was unconditional and no pronoun was good enough for God.”86 At another point he said, “I try and go forward a thousand years. I seek to express the future when, emancipated and

156  •  Jackson transformed, the Negro takes his place, a free being, among the people of the world.”87 This was the place that Toussaint and Christophe had envisioned. The music critic Thomas Porter has argued that “national consciousness has always been inherent in Black music, but the music has always embodied both the class and national characteristics in its criticism of the society.”88 This is what occurred when the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus reintroduced the Haitian Revolution to the world of jazz. He wrote his “Haitian Fight Song,” which he used with the Jazz and People’s Movement (JPM). Mingus performed the song on the Ed Sullivan Show on January 24, 1971, with Archie Shepp and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. As one writer put it, this was “perhaps the only revolutionary anthem to find its way onto the show.”89 Mingus would say about the song, which he recorded for the album The Clown in 1957, that it could have easily been called “Afro-Â�American Fight Song.” “My solo in it is a deeply concentrated one. I can’t play right unless I’m thinking about prejudice and hate and persecutions, and how unfair it is. There’s a sadness and cries in it, but also determination.”90 Like Ellington’s, Mingus’s work must be heard; it stands as one of the great contributions to American music, not solely to African American music or to jazz, but to all American music. In the liner notes to the album Pithecanthropus Erectus, Mingus explains that he wrote the song as “a jazz tone poem .â•›.â•›. that told the story of the decline of modern civilization, with obvious references to the intransigence toward the freedom struggles of oppressed people.”91 He took the exact phrase “a jazz tone poem” from Duke Ellington’s description of his own Black, Brown and Beige. One day in 1953, the jazz saxophonist classical music teacher Buddy Collette told Charles Mingus about playing in a quartet accompanying Paul Robeson in a classical setting.92 Robeson had told Collette about his persecution before the House Un-Â�American Activities Committee (HUAC). Collette, who often played with Mingus, told him what Robeson had told him. Mingus could not forget it, and one day, while at home, he began to hum Negro spirituals. According to Gene Santoro, Mingus “thought about Bartók and the gypsy tunes he’d adapted. He thought about Weston and Roach. He got stuck on one spiritual, humming it, singing it .â•›.â•›. and went to the piano. It became ‘Haitian Fight Song,’ a tribute to the island’s slave revolt of 1801.”93 By then, Mingus felt that he too was being watched by J. Edgar Hoover and the HUAC. He even changed some of the phrasings in “Haitian Fight Song” in which the trombonist Jimmy Knepper, a known progressive, would make the horn sound like a cannon. Mingus, with his contrabass playing the role of Toussaint, starts with a pulsating bass solo. He is calling his compatriots to action. They gently and quietly join him. Jimmy Knepper gives a trumpetlike clarion call. The drummer, Dannie Richmond, sets the suspense, boomp – boomp – boomp. The alto saxophonist, Shafi Hadi, wails; the cry of the oppressed is heard. And then they all join together, along with the pianist Wade Legge; they are but six, but they sound like a hundred. They were few and now they are many. They are victorious.94

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  157 The brilliant guitarist Carlos Santana, who “cut his eye teeth” with jazz legends like Wayne Shorter, explored Haitian themes in his first album, Abraxas, recorded in the summer of 1970 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Among the tunes was “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” an upbeat, joyous celebration of victory. Max Roach, born near Dismal Swamp, Virginia, also embraced the legend of Toussaint when he named his fellow drummer Elvin Jones, who was best known for his work with John Coltrane, “the Emperor Jones.”95 Conclusion Nearing the end of his life Du Bois returned to Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1961, the same year that he accepted the invitation from the Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah and moved to Ghana to revise his goal of completing the Encyclopedia Africana project. That year he also applied for membership in the Communist Party, USA. In his essay “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” after giving a history of the revolution he quotes William Wordsworth: There’s not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee: thou hast great allies; Thy friends are exultations, agonies, And love, and Man’s unconquerable mind. Du Bois wrote that “the world hailed Toussaint; he was one of the great men of his time. He made an extraordinary impression upon those who knew him personally or studied his life, whether they were friends or enemies. Auguste Comte included him with Washington, Plato, Buddha and Charlemagne.” Du Bois described how other whites had viewed Toussaint. He wrote of the Frenchman, Lamartine, who had written a play, the female abolitionist Harriet Martineau who “wrote a novel on his life” and of Wendell Philips who compared Toussaint to “Phocian for the Greek, Brutus for the Roman, Hamden for England, Lafayette for France” and Washington for America.96 The popular image of Toussaint is reflected in the 1975 Obie Award-Â�winning play by Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. Shange, born Paulette Williams, overcame personal hardship and took her name from the Zulu language: Ntozake, meaning “she who comes with her own things,” and Shange, “who walks like a lion.” The play’s narrative reflects the author’s image of Toussaint as a young girl: TOUSSAINT my first blk man (i never counted George Washington Carver cuz I didn’t like peanuts) still TOUSSAINT waz a blk man a negro like my mama say who refused to be a slave

158  •  Jackson & he spoke french & he didn’t low no white man to tell him nothing not napoleon, not maximillien, not Robespierreâ•›.â•›.â•›. TOUSSAINT led the army of zombies walking cannon ball shootin spirits to free Haiti & they waznt slaves no more Toussaint becomes the little girl’s secret friend when she is eight. He asks her to go to Haiti with him: Toussaint said ‘let’s go to haiti’ i said ‘awright’ and packed some very important things in a brown paper bagâ•›.â•›.â•›. TOUSSAINT JONES waznt no différent from TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE cept the one waz in haiti and this one wid me speakin english & eatin apples yeah toussaint jones waz awright wit me no telling what all spirits we cd move down by the river st. louis 195597 In her novel Betsey Brown (1985), Shange’s protagonist, Betsey, meets a boy who tries to become Toussaint L’Ouverture. The boy, Toussaint Jones, like Ellison’s “Mister Toussan,” suffers from the same oppression Toussaint experienced. The boy and girl also have the same idea of fighting that oppression and racism. Shange lets go of childhood fantasies and sees the world as it is in segregated St. Louis, where she lived for a while as a young girl. It does not matter if the young boy’s name is Toussaint Louverture or “Mister Toussan” or Toussaint Jones. The young girl comes to accept the realities of life and separates that reality from her inner fiction. But through fiction, as through art and poetry, and music and drama, we see the history of that inner struggle for freedom. Lawrence W. Levine has noted that “culture is not a fixed condition but a process: the product of interaction between the past and the present. Its toughness and resiliency are determined not by a culture’s ability to withstand change, which indeed may be a sign of stagnation not life, but by its ability to react creatively and responsively to the realities of a new situation.”98 The cultural descendants of the Haitian Revolution have been varied. From Toussaint Louverture to The Emperor Jones, from “Sweet Papa” Mister Toussan to Toussaint Jones, its memory has been passed down. As Mitch Kachun has observed, “The heroes of the Haitian Revolution, and especially the martyred Toussaint L’Ouverture, also stood as models of black manhood and self-Â�

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  159 determination for African Americans. L’Ouverture was lionized in lectures, essays, biographies, and portraiture throughout the ninteenth century, exemplifying the quality of leadership, independence, and sacrifice.”99 The revolution inspired slave revolts and jazz music; as Julius Scott has observed, “Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, Afro–North Americans have derived inspiration from the example of Haitian freedom.”100 The culture of black Americans has “reacted creatively” to the reality of the black condition.101 Sometimes these responses have been readily seen; at other times, they are less explicit. For example, Duke Ellington told his son, Mercer, “I think that a statement of social protest in the theater should be made without saying it.”102 Through remembrances of the revolution, the image of Toussaint passed though the prism of rebellions and talk of rebellions, and during the twentieth century its aura seeped through – subtly with Ellington, and more openly with Mingus. All these tributes have been embellished in the culture of African Americans, and their literature, poetry, folklore, street talk, and music continue to echo with the voice of Toussaint and his compatriots. The music of New Orleans’ Sidney Bechet, of Ellington and Mingus, and the words of Shange, Hughes, Du Bois, Douglass, James, Ellison, and others continue to give voice to black people throughout Africa and its diaspora.103 The people of Haiti still bleed and suffer. They still are, in the words of Langston Hughes’s 1934 poem condemning the United States, in the main a proud people but also a “People without Shoes,” or food, health care, and modern medicine, schools, books, and peace.104 In drumming up support for the impoverished people of modern-Â�day Haiti, Ossie Davis modernized the call of generations past and proclaimed: “Rise up, all you black and African people, the time has come to strike a blow for freedom. So put nails in your broomsticks, sharpen your teeth and your toenails, grab your machetes and butcher knives, your Coca-Â�Cola bottles and brickbats.â•›.â•›.â•›. Wait for the talking drums to give the signal, then take over the plantations, burn the sugar cane, run the cattle off.â•›.â•›.â•›. Then don’t stop kicking butt till all the slave masters are gone and we have this island for ourselves.”105 Notes ╇╇ 1 Du Bois, Suppression, 70. ╇╇ 2 Washington, Booker T. Washington Papers, 5: 130–1. Quoted from the New York Age, July 13, 1899. ╇╇ 3 Du Bois, “Evolution of Negro Leadership,” 176. Quoted from The Dial, 31 (July 16, 1901), 53–5. A review of Up From Slavery. ╇╇ 4 Du Bois, John Brown, 75. ╇╇ 5 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography, 522. ╇╇ 6 Washington, Booker T. Washington Papers, 13: 350. ╇╇ 7 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight, 45. ╇╇ 8 Quoted in Hughes, Good Morning Revolution, 9. ╇╇ 9 Herskovits, Life in a Haitian Village, vii. ╇ 10 Bontemps, Drums at Dusk, xxxix, xviii. Editors of the 2009 reprint edition Bibler and Adams note that “In 1939, Bontemps Drums at Dusk followed an outpouring of images of Haiti, from wall paper to popular films – including the 1932 Bela Lugosi vehicle White Zombie, which

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incited a genre that eventually became unmoored from its Haitian origins. Literary works about Haiti were of varying qualities from Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1920) to John Vandercook’s Black Majesty (1928). Such works as William Seabrook’s The Magical Island (1929) and the US Marine John Houston Craige’s Black Baghdad (1933) and Cannibal Cousins (1934) also had a wide popular impact.” They add that most of these works “were remarkably similar” in their stereotypical portrayals of Black Haitians (xliii). See Jackson, Let This Voice Be Heard. See Chapter 6 for a view of the Société des Amis des Noirs, and Introduction, Chapter One and Epilogue for blacks’ appreciation of Benezet and his role in their education. Bontemps, Story of the Negro. Rampersad, Life of Langston Hughes, 2: 166. Rampersad adds that “although the major roles were sung by whites, with the illustrious Robert Weede in the central role of Dessalines, nine Blacks had places in the chorus: eight others danced to the choreography of George Balanchine and Jean Leon Desatine of Haiti” (2: 166). Troubled Island was first produced with the Gilpin Players, at the Karamu Theater, then as Drums of Haiti, with the Roxanne Players, in Detroit, in 1937 and finally revised as The Emperor of Haiti, with the Manhattan Art Theater, Theatre of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, New York City, in 1938. Changes in names were not uncommon. Before Bontemps settled on Drums at Dusk, he had titled the work first “Troubled Island” and later “Purple Island” (Bibler and Adams, introduction to Drums at Dusk, xliii). In 1944 Leopold Stokowski had also announced plans to mount the opera about the Haitian Revolution but that effort had come to naught (Rampersad, 2: 98–9). Edwards, Practice of Diaspora, 205. Flasch, Melvin B. Tolson, 22. Gaspar and Trouillot, afterword to Babouk, 191. Harmer, Longman Companion to Slavery, 69. Gaspar and Trouillot, afterword, 186. James, History of Pan-Â�African Revolt, 2. James, Black Jacobins, x. Ibid., 377. Ellison, “Mister Toussan,” 25. Ibid., 27. Duetsch, “Ellison’s Early Fiction,” 55. Ellison, “Mister Toussan,” 28, italics in original; Bloom, Ralph Ellison, 81–2. Schor, “Ralph Ellison,” 65. Ellison, “Mister Toussan,” 31. Hornung, Folklore and Myth, 179. Ellison, “Mister Toussan,” 29. Quoted in Schor, Visible Ellison, 29–30. O’Meally, Craft of Ralph Ellison, 64. See also O’Meally, “Riffs and Rituals.” Ellison, like Ellington, greatly admired the New Orleans-Â�born singer Mahalia Jackson, whom he referred to as “the high priestess.” He wrote that she “is the master of an art of singing which is as complex and of an even older origin than that of jazz.” Ellison, Shadow and Act, 215–16. Phillips, One of the Greatest Men, 20. Duberman, Paul Robeson, 17. Paul Robeson, interview with the Reynolds Illustrated News (London), September 20, 1925, quoted in Schlosser, “Paul Robeson in Film,” 74. Bogle, Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, 98. Bogle, Blacks in American Films, 81. Derided by some for its negative portrayal of blacks, in the segregated 1930s the movie received mixed reviews. Institute of International Visual Arts, “Haiti.” Duberman, Paul Robeson, 182. Hamilton, Paul Robeson, 65. Gilliam, Paul Robeson, 88. Buhle, C. L. R. James, 57. See also Forsdick, “Travelling Revolutionary,” 150–67. Gilliam, Paul Robeson, 88. In a 1954 article titled “Ho Chi Minh Is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-Â�China,” Robeson began, “As I write these lines, the eyes of the world are on a country inhabited by twenty-Â�three million brown-Â�skinned people – a population one and a half times the number of Negroes in the US. In size that country is equal to the combined areas of Missis-

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sippi, South Carolina and Alabama. It’s a fertile land, rich in minerals; but all the wealth is taken away by the foreign rulers, and the people are poor.” He went on: “I’m talking about Vietnam, and it seems to me that we Negroes have a special reason for understanding what’s going on over there. Only recently, during Negro History Week, we recalled the heroic exploits of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the people of Haiti in a victorious rebellion against the French Empire.” Paul Robeson Speaks, 377. The article originally appeared as “Here’s MY Story,” in the magazine Freedom, March 1954, the year that the National Liberation Front defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. Largey, “Ouanga!” 34–5. Largey writes that “in 1928 African-Â�American composer Clarence Cameron White (1879–1960) and librettist John Frederick Matheus (1887–1983) made a six-Â� week trip to the republic of Haiti in search of musical materials for an opera. Their work titled Ouanga! chronicled the rise and fall of Jean-Â�Jacques Dessalines, one of the leaders of the 1804 Haitian Revolution. White finished the score to the opera in 1932 after receiving a Julius Rosenwald fellowship to study in Paris with Raoul Laparra. The opera was first performed in concert version in 1932 in Chicago but was not staged until 1949, when the Harry T. Burleigh Musical Association gave a performance of the work in South Bend, Indiana” (34). It was performed in Philadelphia by the Dra-Â�Mu Negro Opera Company, at Xavier University in New Orleans in€1955, by the National Negro Opera Company at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1956. Wheat, Jacob Lawrence, 43. Lou Stovall, interview by Maurice Jackson, December 24, 2006. His most important collaboration with Jacob Lawrence was the 1986–1997 silkscreen reproductions of fifteen of the original forty-Â�one prints from the 1938 series. Vandercook, Black Majesty. Cullen, Black Christ. The Black Christ was also on Jacob Lawrence’s reading list. Many of the illustrations by Charles Cullen in this work depict lynching, the principle narrative of the title poem, “The Black Christ.” For an analysis of the book, see Davis, “Alien-Â�and-Exile Theme”; Whitted, “In My Flesh”; Smylie, “Countee Cullen’s ‘The Black Christ.’â•›” According to Blanche Ferguson, Eleanor Roosevelt “wrote in a newspaper column that she thought The Black Christ should be required reading for every American student as soon as he became mature enough to understand it.” Ferguson, Countee Cullen, 115. The poem “Black Majesty” is accompanied by an illustration of Christophe. The Black Christ and Other Poems is reviewed in the Chicago Defender, November 9, 1929. For a full list of reviews, see Perry, Bio-Â�Bibliography, 72–4; see also Shucard, Countee Cullen; Davis, From the Dark Tower; Johnson and Johnson, Propaganda & Aesthetics. Opportunity (May 1928), 148. On the cover of the issue was printed an illustration, Toussaint L’Ouverture by Mahlon Blaine, taken from Vandercook’s Black Majesty. On the page with the poem was Blaine’s illustration of Christophe. Du Bois had thrown down the gauntlet to the African American literary and artistic community at the annual convention of the NAACP in Chicago in 1926. He declared, “I do not give a damn for any art that is not propaganda.” His remarks were later published in his essay “The Criteria of Negro Art” in the Crisis magazine. Lewis, “W.E.B. Du Bois and Jacob Lawrence.” Beginning with Columbus’s discovery of the island on December 6, 1492, the first five paintings chronicle the treatment by the Spanish and then the French of the black islanders and the beginning of the slave trade in Haiti in 1730. The next series of paintings describes the birth and antislavery development of Toussaint. Painting no. 9 depicts Toussaint reading the works of the Frenchman Abbé Raynal, and no. 11 illustrates the founding of the Society of the Friends of the Blacks in England; he lists Granville Sharpe, Thomas Clarkson, and William Wilberforce as leading members. Painting no. 28 shows Haitians preparing their constitution, and the next one shows Toussaint triumphantly riding into Saint Domingue on January 2, 1801. Painting no. 36 shows Toussaint deceived and arrested during the truce by LeClerc. No. 37 shows him being sent to the dungeon of the Castle Joux in France on August 17, 1802. In painting no. 38 we see the French leader Napoleon’s futile attempt to take back the island, and no. 39 shows a brokenhearted Toussaint, on his deathbed, in the French prison in April 1803. The last two pictures show, first, the Haitian leaders Dessalines, Clevaux, and Christophe signing the Declaration of Independence on January 1, 1804, and then Dessalines being crowned emperor on October 4, 1804. Lawrence portrays Dessalines as a dictator rather than a leader likely to embrace the more enlightened polices and ideas of Toussaint. Nesbett and DuBois, eds., Jacob

162  •  Jackson Lawrence. See also Nesbett and DuBois, Over the Line; Nesbett, Jacob Lawrence; Wheat, Jacob Lawrence. ╇ 53 Wheat, Jacob Lawrence, 39–40. ╇ 54 Lewis, “W. E. B. DuBois and Jacob Lawrence.” Lewis, the Pulitzer Prize-Â�winning biographer of Du Bois, speaks of the affinities between and influences of W. E. B. Du Bois and Jacob Lawrence, although the two never met. Lewis comments that Lawrence’s Migration of the Negro series and the Toussaint L’Ouverture series were both heavily influenced by the great innovator and writer’s works The Gift of Black Folk, Darkwater, and Haiti, a play. The Migration of the Negro series shows the long progression of black people from the rural south to the industrial north and is, according to Lewis, “reflective of Du Bois, who wrote so passionately about the Great Black Migration.” Darkwater was written during a period fraught with lynching and race riots; in it Du Bois called for the persistence of work during troubled times. Lewis notes the empathy for women and the proto-Â�feminism that occurs in much of Lawrence’s Migration series, a reflection of Du Bois’s influence. ╇ 55 Wheat, Jacob Lawrence, 40. ╇ 56 Ibid., 43. ╇ 57 Nesbett and DuBois, Over the Line, 241. ╇ 58 Ibid. ╇ 59 Institute of International Visual Arts, “Haiti.” ╇ 60 Nesbett, Jacob Lawrence. The fifteen prints are The Birth of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1986), General Toussaint L’Ouverture (1986), The Capture (1987), To Preserve Their Freedom (1988), Toussaint at Ennery (1989), The Coachman (1990), Dondon (1992), Contemplation (1993), St. Marc (1994), Strategy (1994), The March (1995), Flotilla (1996), Deception (1997), The Burning (1997), and The Opener (1997). ╇ 61 Courlander, Treasury of Afro-Â�American Folklore, 46. See also Thornton, “I am the Subject.” ╇ 62 Aschenbrenner, Katherine Dunham, 64–5. Working as a dancer, Dunham started graduate studies at the University of Chicago under the anthropologist Melville Herskovits. She received a grant, in 1935, from the Julius Rosenwald Fund to explore the dances and cultures of the West Indies. Mrs. Alfred Rosenwald had attended one of her concerts and became a supporter. Dunham was introduced by letter to the Haitian anthropologist Jean Price-Â�Mars, the Haitian president Sténio Vincent, and others on her first visit to Haiti in 1936. Dunham found the Haitian government reluctant to support her field research, which focused on the lower classes. Her findings from her fieldwork in Haiti were submitted in her master’s thesis, titled “Dances of Haiti: Their Social Organization, Classification, Form, and Function.” She much later published the book Island Possessed. Her pioneering work led to the introduction of a new subdiscipline, dance anthropology. Her Negro Rhapsody made its debut in 1931 at Chicago’s Beaux Arts Ball. In 1937 her Primitive Rhythms premiered at the city’s Goodman Theater, and Haitian Suite was performed at the Abraham Lincoln Theater in New York the same year. In 1940 she held a benefit performance using scenes from her Spanish Earth at the Windsor Theater for victims of the Spanish Civil War. ╇ 63 Like Dunham, Hurston studied with a famed anthropologist, in her case with Franz Boas at Barnard and Columbia University. Born and raised in the first incorporated all-Â�black town in America, Eatonville, Florida, she very early developed a love for African American folklore and culture. Hurston, also like Dunham, received support from wealthy whites such as her California patron, Katherine Merson, who offered her housing while she wrote in New York, and the famed anthropologist Margaret Meade. ╇ 64 Woodson, review of Tell My Horse, 116–18. ╇ 65 Southern, Music of Black Americans, 115. ╇ 66 This quote is listed in the table of contents of the record album located in the Kurt Stein Collection of Francis Johnson Sheet music, at Tulane University. My thanks to Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Curator of the William Ranson Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University for helping me locate this. See also Southern, Music of Black Americans, 115. ╇ 67 Southern, Music of Black Americans, 115. ╇ 68 Southern, Dictionary; Krush, liner notes, Hail to the Chief. ╇ 69 Liner note sheet located at the William Ranson Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University. Bechet also recorded Jungle Drums with Charlie Shaves on trumpet. The recording also features the Sidney Bechet Quintet, Sidney Bechet and his Orchestra, Tommy Ladiner and his Orchestra and the Ports of Harlem Seven.

No Man Could Hinder Him  •  163 ╇ 70 Raeburn, “Celebrating Sidney Bechet.” ╇ 71 In the liner notes to the reprint edition of the album on Stinson Records in 1962, Reisner, then an Instructor in Jazz History and Appreciation at the New School of Social Research writes that “the music was recorded originally at the Brunswick studios in New York although some have written that it was recorded on the Variety Label.” Reisner quotes Willie “the Lion” Smith who said “we made what they talk about now.” Smith went on to say “when you speak of jazz you speak, they know what they’re doing. If they are displeased they won’t play with nobody. They always give their heart and soul – they know the beat of the great men of New Orleans.” The title tunes in the two Haitian-Â�inspired recordings are differently named. In the 1939 recording they are “Mayotte,” “Magic Island,” Rose Rhumba, “Sous les palmiers,” “Original Haitian Music-Â�Part 1,” “Original Haitian Music-Â�Part 2,” Diane (Tropical Moon), “Nana (Baba)” “Original Haitian Music-Â�Part 3,” “Original Haitian Music-Â�Part 4” “Ti Ralph,” and “Merengue d’Amour.” ╇╇ In the 1962 reprint they are listed as “Tropical Mood Rhumba,” “Sous Les Palmiers,” “Rosa Rhumba,” Ti Palph, “Baba Rhumba,” “Original #1,” “Magic Island Merengue,” and “Meyette Merengue.” ╇ 72 John Chilton, Wizard of Jazz, 124; see also Willie “the Lion” Smith and George Hoefer, Music on My Mind. ╇ 73 Quoted in Chilton, Wizard of Jazz, 124. ╇ 74 Bechet, Treat it Gentle, 207. ╇ 75 Logan, Diplomatic Relations. ╇ 76 Hasse, Beyond Category, 254. ╇ 77 Cohen, “Duke Ellington,” 1010–11. The concert was repeated in Boston on January 28, 1943, and in Cleveland on February 20, 1943. ╇ 78 Dubois, Avengers of the New World, 99–100; James, Black Jacobins, 86–7. ╇ 79 Ellington script notes, “Boola,” 23, quoted in Cohen, “Duke Ellington,” 1016. Cohen writes that in “the first of three parts of Brown, ‘West Indian Influence’ celebrates the participation of seven hundred free Haitian soldiers in defending the city of Savannah from the British in the Revolutionary War. In the scenario, Ellington salutes Christophe, the little-Â�known leader of that attack, and Toussaint Louverture, the famous Black statesman of Haiti” (ibid.). John Edward Hasse gives a slightly smaller number, writing that one “West Indian Dance celebrated the contribution of 545 black soldiers from the island of Santo Domingo (later Haiti) to the battle of Savanna during the Revolutionary War.” Hasse, Beyond Category, 262. ╇ 80 Du Bois, Negro, 175. ╇ 81 Ellington and Dance, Duke Ellington, 96. ╇ 82 Tucker, Duke Ellington Reader, 163. ╇ 83 Quoted in Cohen, “Duke Ellington,” 1006. ╇ 84 Douglass, Life and Times [1881], 158–60. ╇ 85 Ottley, “New World a-Â�Comin,” 347. ╇ 86 Ellington, Music Is My Mistress, 183. ╇ 87 Quoted in Lock, Blutopia, 112–13. Other works influenced by his composition were Deep South Suite (with “Magnolia Dripping with Molasses”), in 1946; Liberian Suite, in 1947; Harlem Suite, in 1950; My People, in 1950. ╇ 88 Porter, “Social Roots,” 268. ╇ 89 Saul, Freedom Is, 157. ╇ 90 Quoted by Hentoff, liner notes, Charles Mingus, and by Berendt, liner notes, Mingus Dynasty. ╇ 91 Porter, What Is This Thing Called Jazz? 128. See also Saul, Freedom Is, 3–4. ╇ 92 Santoro, Myself When I Am Real, 114; Robeson, Here I Stand. ╇ 93 Santoro, Myself When I Am Real, 116. ╇ 94 Not all jazz musicians had such lofty messages as Mingus. Lionel Hampton, the great bandleader whom Mingus had palled with in his early years, was conservative in politics and, along with Sammy Davis Jr., an ardent supporter of Richard Nixon. Nonetheless, he recorded a song, “Haitian Blues,” on his album Lionel Hampton Loves Pearl. In 1989 the Neville Brothers and other artists from Haiti recorded Konbit! Burning Rhythms of Haiti at a benefit for the National Coalition of Haitian Refugees. ╇ 95 Jones was the drummer on Coltrane’s 1963 album in celebration of emancipation, A Love Supreme, one of the most widely sold jazz albums of all time. Roach, who grew up near Dismal Swamp, the site of Nat Turner’s capture, was one of the most political jazz musicians. He wrote in an article for the Black Scholar, “While it is apparent to many of us that a transformation in

164  •  Jackson Black consciousness is taking place throughout the political, social and cultural framework of the United States, it is not clear what the impact of this transformation of Black consciousness has had on Black musicians and on the Black man’s perception of his music.” Roach, “What ‘Jazz’ Means,” 8. ╇ 96 “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” in Du Bois, Oxford W. E. B. DuBois Reader, 301. ╇ 97 Shange, For colored girls, 27–9. See also Lester, “Ntozake Shange.” ╇ 98 Levine, Black Culture, 5. ╇ 99 Kachun, “Antebellum African Americans,” 252. 100 Scott, “Common Wind,” 307. 101 For a thoughtful analysis of the Haitian influence on New Orleans music and culture, see Cartwright, “Re-Â�creolizing Swing.” See also Kodat, “Conversing with Ourselves.” 102 M. Ellington, Duke Ellington, 94. 103 Arthur and Dash, A Haiti Anthology. This work offers a broad collection of nearly two hundred articles on Haiti and its culture, politics, religion, and foreign interventions. 104 Hughes’s “People without Shoes” was written in 1934 for New Masses magazine; it is quoted in Rampersad, Life of Langston Hughes, 1: 205. 105 Davis, Life Lit, 49.

Part II

Historical Documents

Figure 3╇Dessalines is crowned emperor October 4, 1804, becoming Jean-Jacques I of Haiti. © 2009 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Figure 4╇Toussaint Captured Ennery. © 2009 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“The Condition and Prospects of Hayti”╇ •â•‡ 167 “The condition and prospects of Hayti” John Browne Russwurm, 6 September 1826 John Browne Russwurm (1799–1851) was born in Jamaica, the son of a black woman and a white Virginian plantation owner. He was educated in Quebec and Maine and in 1824 was admitted to Bowdoin College, its first African American student. Russwurm graduated from Bowdoin in 1826, one of the first African American college graduates in the United States. He subsequently settled in New York, where he began work in 1827 as junior editor of Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper, becoming its sole editor after six months when his coeditor Samuel Cornish resigned. In 1829, Russwurm resigned as editor of Freedom’s Journal and emigrated to Liberia, where he continued to work as an editor and served in public life until his death. Russwurm had a strong interest in Haiti and had planned during his studies at Bowdoin to become a doctor and emigrate there to practice medicine. Although his plans changed, his interest in Haiti endured, as is illustrated by the many articles published about the nation in Freedom’s Journal. The speech that follows was delivered at his graduation ceremony from Bowdoin. The changes which take place in the affairs of this world show the instability of sublunary things. Empires rise, and fall, flourish, and decay. Knowledge follows revolutions and travels over the globe. Man alone, remains the same being, whether placed under the torrid suns of Africa or in the more congenial temperate zone. A principle of liberty is implanted in his breast, and all efforts to stifle it are as fruitless as would be the attempt to extinguish the fires of Etna. It is in the irresistible course of events that all men, who have been deprived of their liberty, shall recover this precious portion of their indefeasible inheritance. It is in vain to stem the current: degraded man will rise in his native majesty, and claim his rights. They may be withheld from him now, but the day will arrive, when they must be surrendered. Among the many interesting events of the present day, and illustrative of this, the Revolution in Hayti holds a conspicuous place. The former political condition of Hayti we all doubtless know. After years of sanguinary struggle for freedom and a political existence, the Haytiens on the auspicious day of January first 1804 declared themselves a free and independent nation. Nothing can ever induce them to recede from this declaration. They know too well by their past misfortunes; by their wounds, which are yet bleeding, that security can be expected only from within themselves. Rather would they devote themselves to death than return to their former condition. Reprinted from copy of speech in Class Records (1826), Bowdoin College Archives, Brunswick, Maine. Published by permission from Bowdoin College. (Spelling and punctuation as in Russwurm’s handwritten text.)

168╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents Can we conceive of any thing which can cheer the desponding spirit, can reanimate and stimulate it to put every thing to the hazard? Liberty can do this. Such were its effects upon the Haytians – men who in slavery showed neither spirit nor genius: – but when Liberty, when once Freedom struck their astonished ears, they became new creatures: – stepped forth as men, and showed to the world, that though Slavery may benumb, it cannot entirely destroy our faculties. Such men were Toussaint L’Ouverture Desalines and Christophe! The Haytiens have adopted the republican form of government: and so firmly is it established, that in no country are the rights and privileges of citizens and foreigners more respected, and crimes less frequent. They are a brave and generous people. If cruelties were inflicted during the Revolutionary war, it was owing to the policy pursued by the French commanders, which compelled them to use retaliatory measures. For who shall expostulate with men who have been hunted with bloodhounds, – who have been threatened with an Auto-Â�de-fé, whose relations and friends have been hung on gibbets before their eyes – have been sunk by hundreds in the sea – and tell them they ought to exercise kindness toward such mortal enemies? – Remind me not of the moral duties, of meekness and generosity, show me the man who has exercised them under these trials, and you point to one who is more than human. It is an undisputed fact, that more than sixteen thousand Haytiens perished in the modes above specified. The cruelties inflicted by the French on the children of Hayti have exceeded the crimes of Cortes and the Pizarros. Twenty two years of their Independence so gloriously achieved, have effected wonders. No longer are they the same people. They had faculties, yet were these faculties oppressed under the load of servitude, and ignorance. With a countenance erect and fixed upon Heaven, they can now contemplate the works of Divine munificence. Restored to the dignity of man and to society, they have acquired a new existence – their powers have been developed: a career of glory, and happiness, unfolds itself before them. The Haytien Government has arisen in the neighborhood of European settlements. Do the public proceedings and details of its Government bespeak any inferiority? Their state papers are distinguished from those of many European Courts, only by their superior energy, and non-Â�exalted sentiments; and while the manners and politics of Boyer emulate those of his Republican neighbors: the court of Christophe had almost as much foppery; almost as many lords and ladies of the bed-Â�chamber; and almost as great a proportion of stars, and ribbons, and gilded chariots, as those of his brother potentates in any part of the world. (Placed by Divine Providence amid circumstances more favourable, than were their ancestors. The Haytiens can more easily than they, make rapid strides in the career of civilization – they can demonstrate that although the God of nature may have given them a darker complexion; still they are men alike sensible to all the miseries of slavery, and to all the blessings of freedom.)

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal╇ •â•‡ 169 May we not indulge in the pleasing hope, that the Independence of Hayti has laid the foundation of an Empire, that will take a rank with the nations of the earth – that a country, the local situation of which is favourable to trade and commercial enterprise – possessing a free and well regulated government, which encourages the useful and liberal arts; a country containing an enterprising and growing population, which is determined to live free, or die gloriously; will advance rapidly in all the arts of civilization. We look forward with peculiar satisfaction, to the period when like Tyre of old, her vessels shall extend the fame of her riches and glory to the remotest borders of the globe; – to the time when Hayti treading in the footsteps of her sister republics, shall, like them, exhibit a picture of rapid and unprecedented advances in population, wealth and intelligence.

The Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper: 1827–1828 Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper, was published in New York from 1827 to 1829. Edited by Samuel E. Cornish, a Presbyterian minister, and John B. Russwurm (with Russwurm taking sole editorship after six months), the newspaper was distributed throughout the North and parts of the South to both African American and white readers and subscribers, with agents also in Haiti, England, and Canada. The editors took an inclusive approach to the content of the newspaper, offering readers coverage of current events as well as literary and historical pieces and opinion pieces about contemporary social and political issues, including slavery, self-Â�help, and colonization. That Haiti was of strong interest to editors Cornish and Russwurm as well as to their readers is clear from the many articles devoted to the island nation, both historical and contemporary. The articles that follow include a historical essay signed J., written for Freedom’s Journal and published in 1827; an excerpt from the four-Â� part “Theresa, – A Haytien Tale,” a fictional narrative written for the newspaper, which ran in 1828; and an editorial written by Russwurm late in 1828. “Haytien Revolution”: J., Freedom’s Journal, April 6, 1827 The last half century will ever be regarded as a period in which changes the most interesting, and occurrences the most remarkable in the history of man have happened. – And the revolution of St. Domingo, which developed the resources and aroused the energies of a people deemed but a step above the brute creation, is not the least remarkable and interesting. Fifty years ago, when the flame of civil and religious liberty was first kindled in this country, and spread too soon across the Atlantic, – who, of all the gifted souls that genius marshalled under its standard, would have predicted such an From Freedom’s Journal, New York, 1827–1829.

170╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents event? Did the mighty spirit of Burke, when he beheld in his “mind’s eye” all the horrors that afterwards befell poor France, or could the “prophetic ken” of Fox foretell this anomaly of nature? The man who could think it possible that the degraded African slave would take up arms in defence of his birthright and spend his heart’s blood for its possession, would have been regarded as a madman, and his reflections branded as the dreams of a visionary. But times have changed. We have seen the establishment of an independent nation by men of our own colour; the world has seen it; and its success and durability are now placed beyond doubt. There is something in the firm establishment of a free government by those who but lately were in the bonds of slavery that strikes us as manifesting in a peculiar degree the interposition of Divine Providence. The commencement of the revolution of St. Domingo was looked upon with horror by men in all parts of the world. It was thought so unnatural a crime, that slaves should rise against their masters, that their downfall was earnestly desired and frequently prayed for by every one. Other revolutions have happened; other governments have been formed, but under far different auspices. The American revolution which first led the way in asserting the great principles of liberty, was hailed with enthusiasm by the wise and the good. It found advocates even in England, against whose oppression they were contending. The French revolution too, ere it acted those deeds of terror and madness which will not soon be forgotten, had supporters and well-Â�wishers in every heart, except those whose feelings were blunted in the service of a cold and chilling despotism. But the revolution of St. Domingo, which taught the world that the African, though trodden down in the dust by the foot of the oppressor, yet had not entirely lost the finer sensibilities of his nature, and still possessed the proper spirit and feelings of a man – no one wished it well – no fervent prayer was put up for its success – none bid it “God speed.” In their glorious career, alone and unaided, save by the arm of HIM who is ever ready to protect the oppressed, the Haytiens withstood the power of the greatest monarch that ever sat upon a throne. So true is it, that “the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” When we reflect upon the condition of those men who bade defiance to the chosen troops of Napoleon, commanded by one of his bravest generals, we are struck with astonishment and admiration. Most of their leaders were of little education – of still less experience in military affairs, and more expert in the use of the hoe and the spade, than in wielding a sword or levelling a musket. But the occasion called forth their hidden powers. The cause for which they fought developed talents unknown before to the possessor. – And soon as the standard was raised and the blow that was to unrivet their chains forever, was struck, thousands arose of young and old – bond and free, eager to expose their lives and property in defence of what to every man should be dearer than life itself. The struggle of liberty against slavery; of light against darkness, cannot last long. And tho’ our brethren of St. Domingo had to contend against “fearful odds,” (being opposed by the flower of the French army,) yet such success attended their noble

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal╇ •â•‡ 171 efforts, that in a short time there was scarcely a Frenchman left on the island. Of the fifteen thousand troops which Napoleon had deemed sufficient to rivet new fetters for “the slaves,” very few returned to France to tell him the news of their disaster. Disease, famine, and the sword destroyed one after another, till finally Leclerc himself, fell in the land over which in the proud exultation of his heart he had fondly hoped to rule. Thus perished the French army, and so perish every attempt against the liberties of a people. From “Theresa – A Haytien Tale”: S., Freedom’s Journal, January 18, 1828; January 25, 1828; February 8, 1828; February 15, 1828 DURING the long and bloody contest, in St. Domingo, between the white man, who flourished the child of sensuality, rioting on the miseries of his slaves; [and] the sons of Africa, who, provoked to madness, and armed themselves against French barbarity; Madame Paulina was left a widow, unhappy – unprotected, and exposed to all the horrors of the revolution. Not without much unhappiness, she saw that if she would save her life from the inhumanity of her country’s enemy, she must depart from the endeared village of her innocent childhood; still dear to her, though now it was become a theatre of many tragic scenes. The once verdant plains, round its environs had been crimsoned with the blood of innocence, and the nature of the times afforded no security to the oppressed natives of Saint Nicholas.â•›.â•›.â•›. After much unpleasant reflections on her pitiable situation, Madame Paulina resolved to address a letter, soliciting the advice of her brother, then at Cape Marie’, and at the head of a party of his patriot brethren, who like him, disdained slavery, and were determined to live free men, or expire in their attempts for liberty and independence. But reason had scarce approved this suggestion of her mind, when suddenly she heard a simultaneous volley of musketry, and the appalling roaring of heavy artillery rumbling along the mountain’s ridge, like terrifying thunders; to this distant warfare, the lapse of fifteen minutes brought a cessation, which announced, that on either side, many that were, had ceased to be. Silence having ensued, there was a stillness in the airâ•›.â•›.â•›. The French in this combat with the Revolutionists, suffered much, both from the extreme sultriness of the day, and the courage of those with whom they contended; disappointed and harrassed by the Islanders; they thought it a principle of policy, to resort to acts of cruelty; and to intimidate them, resolved, that none of them should be spared; but that the sword should annihilate, or compel them to submit to their wonted degradations; and St. Nicholas was the unfortunate village, first to be devoted to the resentful rage of the cruel enemy. All the natives were doomed to suffer; the mother and the infant that reposed on her bosom, fell by the same sword, while groans of the sick served only as the guides which discovered them to the inhumanity of the inexorable, at whose hands they met a miserable death. The sun was fast receding to the west, as if ashamed of man’s transactions, boasting itself in the dark mantle of twilight, when Gen. Le’-Clerc, fired the few

172╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents dwellings, then remaining in the village. Misery was now grabbed in her most terrifying robes, and terror possessd itself the heart of all, except the French, in whose hands were placed the weapons of destruction. The intelligence of the defeat of the army recently stationed at Cape Marie, reached the ears of the unhappy Paulina, and with horror she heard that her beloved brother in his attempt to regain St. Nicholas, breathed out his valuable life in the cause of freedom, and for his country. But it was now no time to indulge in grief – Safety was the object of the wretched villagers. To effect an escape from the horrors of this ominous night, was difficult in the extreme; for the passes leading out into the country were all occupied by the enemy’s troops, who were not only vigilant, but relentless and cruel. Madame Paulina apprehended her own danger, but her greatest solicitude was for the safety of her daughters, who in the morning of life, were expanding, like the foilages of the rose into elegance and beauty. She had kept them long concealed from the knowledge of the enemy, whose will she knew was their law, and whose law was injustice – the mother’s wretchedness, and the daughter’s shame and ruin. In happier days, when peace blessed her native island, she had seen a small hut, during a summer’s excursion, in an unfrequented spot, in the delightful valley of Vega Real, and on the eastern bank of the beautiful Yuma; and now she resolved if possible, to retreat thither with both her daughtersâ•›.â•›.â•›. With a feigned pass-Â�port and letter, she ingeniously contrived to pass out of the village conducting her daughters, like the pious Aeneas, through all the horrors, in which St. Nicholas was now involvedâ•›.â•›.â•›. MORNING had just began to peep forth, and the golden rays of the returning sun were seen to burnish the tops of the majestic cibiao mountains, when the bewildered adventurers were suddenly startled by the shrill blast of a bugle; their surprise was not less than their wretchedness, when at no great distance, they beheld approaching them a detachment of the enemy’s cavalry. At this unexpected crisis madame Paulina overcome with fearful apprehensions, trembled lest she should be wanting in the discharge of her difficult undertaking. But it was now too late; she must either act well her part or be reconducted by the foe to St. Nicholas, and there, after witnessing the destruction of those for whose happiness, she was more concerned, than for her own, receive a cruel and ignominious death. The party of horsemen being now very near, she gave some necessary instructions to her daughters, and conducted them onward with no little confidence in her success. The lieutenant, by whom the French were commanded, observing her attired in the uniform of a French officer, took her for what she so well affected to be – (a captain of the French army) he made to her the order of the day, and enquired the time she left St. Nicholas, and whether conducting the two prisoners, (for Paulina had the presence of mind to disguise her daughters as such) she replied, and taking forth her letter, she handed it to the lieutenant. Succeeding thus far admirably, our adventuress was led to make some enquiries relative to the welfare of the French troops, stationed west of St. Nicholas, and

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal╇ •â•‡ 173 having collected much valuable information, they parted, and Madame Paulina favoured by a ready address, and with much fortitude, escaped death – conducting the dear objects of her tender solicitude far, from the ill-Â�fated village of their infancy. Being informed by the lieutenant, that at the distance of a few miles, there were encamped a company of the French, she thought it judicious to avoid all public roads, and having turned into a thick grove of the Pimento trees, she proposed to her daughters to rest in this spot until darkness again should unfold her mantleâ•›.â•›.â•›. .â•›.â•›.â•›But Mademoiselle Theresa, the youngest of the three adventurers, greeted not sleep. The vigour of her body was indeed much exhausted, but the emotions of her mind were more active than ever; she saw with the mind’s eye the great services which might be rendered to her country; she brought to her imagination the once delightful fields of her native Hayti, now dy’d with the blood of her countrymen in their righteous struggle for liberty and for independence. Not less did she contemplate the once flourishing plantations ruined and St. Domingo once the granary of the West-Â�Indies, reduced to famine, now the island of misery, and the abode of wretchedness. It was but the last night, that she witnessed the most terrifying scenes of her life – when the shrieks of her dying friends made her apprehend justly what her€own fate must be, should she fail to effect an escape from the village of her happiest days. Theresa thought of the brave St. Clair; she imagined she saw her beloved uncle weltering in his blood, and the barbarous French fixing his venerable head on a pole, and it exposed on a cross road, as the head of a rebel. She shuddered at this thought; her soul was subdued, and the fount of grief issued from her eyes in copious streams, bathing her febrile cheeks with the dews of sorrow. [“]Why,[”] said she, [“]O, my God! hast thou suffered thy creatures to be thus afflicted in all thy spacious earth? Are not we too thy children? And didst thou not cover us with this sable exterior, by which our race is distinguished, and for which they are contemned and ever been cruelly persecuted! O, my God! – my God! – be propitious to the cause of justice – Be near to the Haytiens in their righteous struggle, to obtain those rights which thou hast graciously bestowed on all thy children. Raise up some few of those, who have been long degraded – give to them dominion, and enable them to govern a state of their own – so that the proud and cruel may know that thou art alike the Father of the native of the burning desert, and of the more temperate, region.” IT was in the presence of Theresa that the conversation between M. L’Motelle and her heroic mother took place. Madame Paulina, on her part leaving nothing undone, which might serve to accomplish the object for which she had been induced to practice duplicity; M. L’Motelle regarded her for what she really appeared to be; and unhesitatingly spoke of matters concerning the nature of the times; of the military and local situations of the French troops: their condition and strength were topics of interest; and Theresa learned that the distance to the camp of the brave Touissant L’Ouverture, was a single league from the place where he

174╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents communicated the intelligence. Seeming to be inattentive, she pensively bent her eyes towards the earth, listening the while as he unconsciously developed many military schemes, which were about being executed, and if successful, would, in all probability, terminate in the destruction of the Revolutionists, and, in the final success of the French power in this island. These were invaluable discoveries, and could they be made known in due time to those against whose rights their injustice was intended, it would not fail to give success to Haytien independence, disappoint the arch-Â�enemy, and aid the cause of humanity. But, alas! important as they were to the cause of freedom, by whom shall they be carried. Who shall reveal them to the Revolu[tion]ists: No one interested was near, and they were in the possession of none friendly to the cause of justice, except the three defenceless ones. Theresa herself must be the bearer, or survive only to witness them executed agreeably to the desires of the enemy. In what manner must she act? The salvation of her oppressed country to her, was an object of no little concern; but she also owed a duty to that mother, whose tender solicitude for her happiness, could not be surpassed by any parent, and a sister too, whom she tenderly loved, and whose attachment to her was undivided. Her absence from the grove, she was confidently assured, would be to them their greatest source of affliction; it would probably terminate the already much exhausted life of her dear mother, and complete the measure of [her sister] Amanda’s wretchedness. Her own inexperience in the manner, she should conduct in an affair so important and hazardous, was an obstacle which in connexion with her sense of duty, and care for her mother’s happiness, would deter her from embarking in it. She paused, then as if aroused by some internal agent, exclaimed, “Oh Hayti! – be independent, and let Theresa be the unworthy sacrifice offered to that God, who shall raise his mighty arm in defence of thy injured children.[”] She drew from her bosom a pencil and wrote on a piece of bark of the Gourd-Â� tree, telling her mother and Amanda, whither she was gone – her errand; begged that, they would not be unhappy on account of her absence; that they would remain at their place of peace and quiet, until she should return to them with an escort, who should conduct them to a safer retreat, and commit them to the protection of friends. This scroll, Theresa pinned on her mother’s coat, while she and Amanda were yet indulging in repose, and like an heroine of the age of chivalry, she forsook the grove of Pimento and hastened on her way to the camp of L’Ouvertureâ•›.â•›.â•›. .â•›.â•›.â•›Theresa, favoured by fortune, had safely arrived at the military quarters of the great Toussant; had communicated to the chieftain the object of her visit to his camp, and was receiving all the distinctions due her exalted virtue, and which her dauntless resolution so justly merited. The sun was now fast receding behind the lofty Cibao, whose rugged summits in the morning, appeared burnished by its resplendent rays, and darkness was out-Â�stretching her spacious mantle. The orange and citron groves, and all the rich enameled luxuriance of torrid luxuries, now began to wear a sombre aspect, while the chattering Paroquet ceased to imitate man, and disturb the sweets of

Haitian Revolution in Freedom’s Journal╇ •â•‡ 175 solitude, with prating garrulity, had retired to her roost on the sturdy logwood. Now it was, that Theresa, under a strong military escort, left the general’s camp of hospitality, retracing her steps towards the grove of Pimento, where, at her departure, she left her dear mother and Amanda, enjoying calm repose; seated in a close carriage, her thoughts reverted to the deplorable state of her country; with a prophetic eye she saw the destruction of the French, and their final expulsion from her native island. She entreated the Creator, that he would bless the means, which through her agency, he had been pleased to put in the possession of her too long oppressed countrymen, and that all might be made useful to the cause of freedom. But turning her thoughts toward her mother and sister, Theresa was conscious, that her absence from the grove could not fail to have given them extreme sorrow and unhappiness; her gentle nature recoiled at the recollection, and she gave way to a flood of tears. But recollecting again the important services, she had rendered her aggrieved country and to the Haytien people – the objects which prompted her to disobedience, which induced her to overstep the bounds of modesty, and expose to immediate dangers her life and sex. She felt that her conduct was exculpated, and self-Â�reproach was lost in the consciousness of her laudable efforts to save St. Domingo. Her noble soul re-Â�animated, recovered its wonted calm, as the ocean its quiet motion when the gentle breeze, and the returned sunshine, succeed a tempestuous sky and boisterous winds. FATED to experience trials, she was now to be made more wretched than ever.â•›.â•›.â•›. Her mother and sister were not to be found at the place where she had left themâ•›.â•›.â•›. .â•›.â•›.â•›Whither now shall Theresa bend her steps! No kind mother to guide her in life, or affectionate sister, to whom to impart the sorrow of her soul, or participate with in innocent pleasure; friendless and disconsolate, she was now left exposed to many evils, and at a time too when the assiduous care of a mother was most essential in the preservation of her well being. Theresa was on her way back to the camp of the kind Touissant L’Ourverture [sic], to claim his fatherly protection, and seek a home in the bosom of those, to whom she had rendered herself dear by her wisdom and virtue. The trampling of many horses was heard rapidly approaching, and bending its way towards the same direction. It was a party of the French troops, and she was now to witness war in all its horrors. The enemy of Haytien freedom was now near. The war trumpet now sounded the terrible blast for the engagement, and the Revolutionists like lions, rushed on to the fight with a simultaneous cry of “Freedom or Death!” The French, great in number, fought in obedience to a cruel master. The Haytiens for liberty and independence, and to obtain their rights of which they long have been unjustly deprived. The pass between the Mole and the village St. Nicholas, drank up the lives of hundreds in their blood. The French retreated with precipitance, leaving their baggage with their gasping friends, on the spot where victory perched on the standard of freedom: And now the conquerors had began to examine the property deserted by the vanquished. A faint but mournful groan issued from a

176╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents baggage cart forsaken by the enemy; directed by the light of a flambeau, captain Inginac bent thither his nimble steps. Curiosity is lost in surprise – joy succeeds sorrow – the lost ones are regained. It was Madame Paulina and Amanda, the mother and sister of the unhappy THERESA. “Hayti”: John B. Russwurm, Freedom’s Journal, December 12, 1828 Recent and authentic accounts from this island represent the state of affairs as uncommonly peaceable. Reports concerning the cession of the late Spanish part of the Republic to Spain, had reached there, and been almost officially contradicted. In fact, we have never entertained the least idea that they were true, knowing from the tone which has ever marked the public documents, and the public feeling on this subject, that no other government will ever be suffered to retain any portion of this beautiful island. The Republic is indivisible. The Haytiens, would certainly after having poured out their best blood in defence of their soil, be considered as infatuated beings, were they even to dream of such a scheme: as the occupation of a part of their territory by a foreign government. As for the treaty which is said to have been lately negociated in London, the report carries its own absurdity on the face of it. The Haytien Government at present have no accredited Agent at the Court of St. James; and if they had, so important a trust would not be vested in one person. What does Spain want with more territory? The bigoted Ferdinand can hardly sway what he now has. With exhausted finances, rotten ships, and degenerate men; Spain, in our humble opinion, should be the last of all the European powers, to attempt new conquests, or even to recover what she has lost, through the mal administration of her officers. Hayti is safe, the friends of civil liberty need feel but little concern, that she ever will permit the establishment of a foreign government within her borders. Let schools be established in every city, town, and village, of the Republic. Let all her youth, like those [of] ancient Sparta, be considered the property of the Republic; and in a few years, we shall behold her take her rank among the nations of the earth, respected and honoured for the talents, industry, and bravery of her children. The Haytiens can look back on the past with great satisfaction; they have fought the good fight of Liberty, and conquered: and all that is [now] required of them, is, to enjoy this invaluable blessing, as accountable beings, who look forward to what man, even the descendant of Africa, may be, when blessed with Liberty and Equality and their concomitants.

Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions╇ •â•‡ 177 From A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; With a Sketch of the Character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (For the Benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841 James McCune Smith James McCune Smith (1813–1865) was born in New York City in 1813 to a slave woman and a white father. While still in bondage to his mother’s master, he attended New York’s African Free School No. 2, where he distinguished himself as the school’s leading student. He was freed in 1827 by New York’s Emancipation Act. Denied admission to US medical schools despite his impeccable qualifications, Smith attended Glasgow University and earned three academic degrees, including his doctorate of medicine. He returned to New York in 1837 where he worked as a physician and proprietor of the first black-Â�owned pharmacy. An active community leader, Smith was involved in various African American organizations as well as the biracial American Anti-Â�Slavery Society, and he contributed writings to and edited various black newspapers. Smith spoke and wrote prolifically on scientific topics as well as contemporary issues important to African Americans. In 1841, he delivered a lecture on the Haitian Revolution at the Stuyvesant Institute in Manhattan, subsequently published as a pamphlet, from which the following excerpt is taken. History of the Revolution of Hayti Instead of one, as is usually believed, there were three distinct revolutions in the island during the fourteen years which elapsed from 1789 to 1803. The FIRST revolution was for the establishment of republican principles, and was confined to the whites. The SECOND revolution established the emancipation of the slaves. The THIRD revolution achieved the independence of the colony from the mother countryâ•›.â•›.â•›. In the course of June and July, 1791, some insurrectionary movements took place among the slaves about Port au Prince, which were easily checked. Fifty were beheaded on one plantation, (Aubry,) and their heads affixed upon poles set along the hedges in imitation of palm-Â�trees. So deeply enlisted were the passions of the white colonists in giving vent to their prejudice against the free colored people, that their precautionary measures ended with simply arresting this revolt. In the words of Mirabeau, “The colonists slept upon a Vesuvius, nor were they awakened by the first jets of its eruption.” And we should remark that in their massacre of one another, of Vincent Ojè, and of the fifty slaves beheaded on the plantation Aubry, the whites had distinctly intimated the kind of resistance which alone could be effectual against them. Reprinted from James McCune Smith, A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; With a Sketch of the Character of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Delivered at the Stuyvesant Institute, (For the Benefit of the Colored Orphan Asylum,) February 26, 1841. New York: Daniel Fanshaw, 1841.

178╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents On the 20th August, 1791, an insurrection broke out on the plantation Gallifet, which was easily quelled. But again were the whites satisfied with merely punishing the few immediately connected with the disturbance, but they neglected to make any effort to trace out and prevent further movements. On the 23d August the insurrection broke out in all its fury in the plain of the Cape, one third of which in four days was reduced to a heap of ashes, and nearly all the whites who fell into the hands of the insurgents were massacred without distinction of age or sex. Be it remembered that this insurrection was the legitimate fruit of slavery, against which it was a spontaneous rebellion. It was not, therefore, the fruit of emancipation, but the consequence of withholding from men their libertyâ•›.â•›.â•›. In 1792, the National Assembly of France sent Polverel and Santhonax as Commissioners to this colony, having furnished them with a force of 8,000 picked menâ•›.â•›.â•›. In the conflict which ensued, not considering their forces sufficient to repel their opponents, the COMMISSIONERS dispatched agents to obtain assistance from the revolted slaves, offering [“]an unconditional pardon for the past, PERFECT FREEDOM in the future, and the plunder of the city!” This offer of plunder was rejected by Jean Francois and Biassou. But, after several days, on the 21st June, Macaya, a chief, with 3,000 men, entered the town of the Cape, and, in accordance with the invitation of the Commissioners, pillaged and burnt the town, and slaughtered as many of the inhabitants as they found in arms against the Commissioners. At their approach, thousands of the inhabitants fled towards the ships, where they were met by their recent foes the free colored men, who avenging their own wrongs and the murder of Vincent Ojè, massacred as many as fell in their way. A large proportion of the fugitives reached the ships, and many of them emigrated to these United States; and from their lips came the now traditional views entertained in this country, concerning the “Horrors of Emancipation in St. Domingo;” i.e. that the first use of their liberty made by the slaves, was, ruthlessly to imbrue their hands in their former masters’ blood. Is this tradition true? Certainly not. For at the very moment, and for some time before the Commissioners declared them emancipated, there were in the plain of the Cape upwards of 100,000 people who held their freedom and the soil by force of arms, a title as good as, because identical with, that by which the planters had held it in their possession. To these 100,000 people a proposal is made to pillage and sack a splendid and wealthy city; after considerable delay 3,000 or 1/33 part of the whole number, accepting the proposition, march into the city. And as the massacre of the whites was the act of the free colored people, it must be attributed to the curse of caste, which, by causing the whites to murder Ojè, now brought upon them the deadly revenge of the class with whom he was identified. The massacre, therefore, was not the consequence of emancipation, because it was not the act of the emancipated slaves. And the sole charge which remains against these last, is the plunder of the city, an act which the most civilized armies of the time would,

Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions╇ •â•‡ 179 under like circumstances, have perpetrated; and which was the legitimate fruit of war in its generic sense. We are now arrived at the conclusion of the second revolution, namely, “The Emancipation of the Slaves.” This revolution presents a pure example of a servile war. It originated amongst the slaves, who were urged by their sufferings to battle for liberty. Servile wars have generally proved the most fierce and sanguinary of all wars. But if we compare this one with others of the same class, we find it distinguished for the small number of lives lost, especially on the part of the masters. In the servile war of Italy, 71 years before the christian era, Spartacus, at the head of 10,000 slaves, slew 40,000 Roman soldiers in all, and his resistance only ended with his life. In the servile war of Hayti, only 2,000 whites were slain by the insurgents, who numbered 40,000 fighting men, and of whom nearly 10,000 were slain by the whites. THE THIRD REVOLUTION, which terminated in the independence of the colony, was not completed until ten years afterwards, 1802. The intervening time was distinguished by a series of events which formed a pleasing contrast to the war we have narrated – events over which TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE became the presiding genius. Whilst the orgies of the French revolution thrust forward a being whose path was by rivers of blood, the horrors of St. Domingo produced one who was pre-Â� eminently a peace-Â�maker. In estimating the character of Toussaint, regard must be paid, not to the enlightened age in which he lived, but to the rank in society from which he sprang – a rank which must be classed with a remote and elementary age of mankind. Born forty-Â�seven years before the commencement of the revolt, he had reached the prime of manhood, a slave, with a soul uncontaminated by the degradation which surrounded him. Living in a state of society where worse than polygamy was actually urged, we find him at this period faithful to one wife – the wife of his youth – and the father of an interesting family. Linked with such tender ties, and enlightened with some degree of education, which his indulgent master, M. Bayou, had given him, he fulfilled, up to the moment of the revolt, the duties of a christian man in slavery. At the time of the insurrection – in which he took no part – he continued in the peaceable discharge of his duties as coachman; and when the insurgents approached the estate whereon he lived, he accomplished the flight of M. Bayou, whose kind treatment (part of this kindness was teaching this slave to read and write) he repaid by forwarding to him produce for his maintenance while in exile in these United States. Having thus faithfully acquitted himself as a slave, he turned towards the higher destinies which awaited him as a freeman. With a mind stored with patient reflection upon the biographies of men, the most eminent in civil and military affairs; and deeply versed in the history of the most remarkable revolutions that had yet occurred amongst mankind, he entered the army of the

180╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents insurgents under Jean Francois. This chief rapidly promoted him to the offices of physician to the forces, aid-Â�de-camp, and colonel. Jean Francois, in alliance with the Spaniards, maintained war at this time for the cause of royalty. Whilst serving under this chief, Toussaint beheld another civil war agitating the French colony. On one side, the French Commissioners, who had acknowledged the emancipation of the slaves, maintained war for the Republic; on the other side, the old noblesse, or planters, fought under the royal banner, having called in the aid of the British forces in order to re-Â�establish slavery and the Ancient Regime. In this conflict, unmindful of their solemn oaths against the decree of 15th May, ’91, the whites of both parties, including the planters, hesitated not to fight in the same ranks, shoulder to shoulder, with the blacks. Caste was forgotten in the struggle for principles! At this juncture Jean Francois, accompanied by his principal officers, and possessed of all the honors and emoluments of a captain-Â�general in the service of his Catholic Majesty, retired to Spain, leaving Toussaint at liberty to choose his party. Almost immediately joining that standard which acknowledged and battled for equal rights to all men, he soon rendered signal service to the Commissioners, by driving the Spaniards from the northern, and by holding the British at bay in the eastern part of the island. For these services he was raised to the rank of general, by the French commander at Porte aux Paix, General Laveaux: a promotion which he soon repaid by saving that veteran’s life under the following circumstances: Villate, a mulatto general, envious of the honors bestowed on Toussaint, treacherously imprisoned General Laveaux in Cape Francois. Immediately upon hearing this fact, Toussaint hastened to the Cape at the head of 10,000 men and liberated his benefactor. And, at the very moment of his liberation, a commission arrived from France appointing General Laveaux Governor of the Colony; his first official act was to proclaim Toussaint his lieutenant. “This is the black,” said Laveaux, “predicted by Raynal, and who is destined to avenge the outrages committed against his whole race.” A remark soon verified, for on his attainment of the supreme power, Toussaint avenged those injuries – by forgiveness. As an acknowledgement for his eminent services against the British, and against the mulattoes, who, inflamed with all the bitterness of caste, had maintained a sanguinary war under their great leader Riguad, in the southern part of the colony, the Commissioners invested Toussaint with the office and dignity of general-Â�in-chief of St. Domingo. From that moment began the full development of the vast and versatile genius of this extraordinary man. Standing amid the terrible, because hostile, fragments of two revolutions, harassed by the rapacious greed of commissioners upon commissioners, who, successively dispatched from France, hid beneath a republican exterior a longing after the spoils; with an army in the field accustomed by five years’ experience to all the license of civil war, Toussaint, with a giant hand, seized the reins of government, reduced these conflicting

Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions╇ •â•‡ 181 elements to harmony and order, and raised the colony to nearly its former prosperityâ•›.â•›.â•›. In regard to the army of Toussaint, Gen. Lacroix, one of the planters who returned, affirms “that never was an European army subjected to a more rigid discipline than that which was observed by the troops of Toussaint.” Yet this army was converted by the commander-Â�in-chief into industrious laborers, by the simple expedient of paying them for their labor. “When he restored many of the planters to their estates, there was no restoration of their former property in human beings. No human being was to be bought or sold. Severe tasks, flagellations, and scanty food, were no longer to be endured. The planters were obliged to employ their laborers on the footing of hired servants.” “And under this system,” says Lacroix, “the colony advanced, as if by enchantment, towards its ancient splendor; cultivation was extended with such rapidity that every day made its progress more perceptible. All appeared to be happy, and regarded Toussaint as their guardian angel. In making a tour of the island, he was hailed by the blacks with universal joy, nor was he less a favorite of the whites”â•›.â•›.â•›. Although Toussaint enforced the duties of religion, he entirely severed the connection between church and state. He rigidly enforced all the duties of morality, and would not suffer in his presence even the approach to indecency of dress or manner. “Modesty,” said he, “is the defence of woman.” The chief, nay the idol of an army of 100,000 well-Â�trained and acclimated troops ready to march or sail where he wist, Toussaint refrained raising the standard of liberty in any one of the neighboring islands, at a time when, had he been fired with what men term ambition, he could easily have revolutionized the entire Archipelago of the west. But his thoughts were bent on conquest of another kind; he was determined to overthrow an ERROR which designing and interested men had craftily instilled into the civilized world, a belief in the natural inferiority of the negro race. It was the glory and the warrantable boast of Toussaint, that he had been the instrument of demonstrating that, even with the worst odds against them, this race is entirely capable of achieving liberty, and of self-Â�government. He did more: by abolishing caste he proved the artificial nature of such distinctions, and further demonstrated that even slavery cannot unfit men for the full exercise of all the functions which belong to free citizensâ•›.â•›.â•›. But the bright and happy state of things which the genius of Toussaint had almost created out of elements the most discordant, was doomed to be of short duration. For the dark spirit of Napoleon, glutted, but not satiated with the gory banquet afforded at the expense of Europe and Africa, seized upon this, the most beautiful and happy of the Hesperides, as the next victim of its remorseless rapacity. With the double intention of getting rid of the republican army, and reducing back to slavery the island of Hayti, he sent out his brother-Â�in-law, Gen. Leclerc, with 26 ships of war and 25,000 men. Like Leonidasant Thermopylae, or the Bruce at Bannockburn, Toussaint determined to defend from thraldom his sea-Â�girt isle, made sacred to liberty by the baptism of blood.

182╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents On the 28th January, 1802, Leclerc arrived off the bay of Samana, from the promontory of which Toussaint, in anxious alarm, beheld for the first time in his life so large an armament. “We must all perish,” said he, “all France has come to St. Domingo!” But this despondency passed away in a moment, and then this man, who had been a kindly-Â�treated slave, prepared to oppose to the last that system which he now considered worse than deathâ•›.â•›.â•›. Having full possession of the plain of the Cape, Leclerc, with a proclamation of liberty in his hand, in March following re-Â�established slavery with all its former cruelties. This treacherous movement thickened the ranks of Toussaint, who thenceforward so vigorously pressed his opponent, that as a last resort, Leclerc broke the shackles of the slave, and proclaimed “Liberty and Equality to all the inhabitants of St. Domingo.” This proclamation terminated the conflict for the time. Christophe and Dessalines, general officers, and at length Toussaint himself, capitulated, and, giving up the command of the island to Leclerc, he retired, at the suggestion of that officer, to enjoy rest and the sweet endearments of his family circle, on one of his estates near Gonaives. At this place he had remained about one month, when, without any adequate cause, Leclerc caused him to be seized, and to be placed on board of a ship of war, in which he was conveyed to France, where, without trial or condemnation, he was imprisoned in a loathsome and unhealthy dungeon. Unaccustomed to the chill and damp of this prison-Â�house, the aged frame of Toussaint gave way, and he died. In this meagre outline of his life I have presented simply facts, gleaned, for the most part, from the unwilling testimony of his foes, and therefore resting on good authority. The highest encomium on his character is contained in the fact, that Napoleon believed that by capturing him he would be able to re-Â�enslave Hayti; and even this encomium is, if possible, rendered higher by the circumstances which afterward transpired, which showed that his principles were so thoroughly disseminated among his brethren, that, without the presence of Toussaint, they achieved that liberty which he had taught them so rightly to estimate. The capture of Toussaint spread like wild-Â�fire through the island, and his principal officers again took the field. A fierce and sanguinary war ensuedâ•›.â•›.â•›. General Rochambeau, with the remnant of the French army, having been reduced to the dread necessity of striving “to appease the calls of hunger by feeding on horses, mules, and the very dogs that had been employed in hunting down and devouring the negroes,” evacuated the island in the autumn of 1803, and Hayti thenceforward became an independent state. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have now laid before you a concise view of the revolutions of Hayti in the relation of cause and effect; and I trust you will now think, that, so far from being scenes of indiscriminate massacre from which we should turn our eyes in horror, these revolutions constitute an epoch worthy of the anxious study of every American citizen.

St. Domingo╇ •â•‡ 183 Among the many lessons that may be drawn from this portion of history, is one not unconnected with the present occasion. From causes to which I need not give a name, there is gradually creeping into our otherwise prosperous state, the incongruous and undermining influence of caste. One of the local manifestations of this unrepublican sentiment, is, that while 800 children, chiefly of foreign parents, are educated and taught trades at the expense of all the citizens, colored children are excluded from these privileges. With the view to obviate the evils of such an unreasonable proscription, a few ladies of this city, by their untiring exertions, have organized an “Asylum for Colored Orphans.” Their zeal in this cause is infinitely beyond all praise of mine, for their deeds of mercy are smiled on by Him who has declared, that “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water, shall in no wise lose her reward.” Were any further argument needed to urge them on in their blessed work, I would point out to them the revolutions of Hayti, where, in the midst of the orgies and incantations of servile war, there appeared, as a spirit of peace, the patriot, the father, the benefactor of mankind – TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE, A FREEDMAN, WHO HAD BEEN TAUGHT TO READ WHILE IN SLAVERY!

From St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots. A Lecture, Delivered before the Metropolitan Athenaeum, London, May 16, and at St. Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia, December 20, 1854 William Wells Brown William Wells Brown (c.1814–1884) was born a slave in Kentucky. He escaped in 1834, settling first in Ohio and then relocating to Buffalo, New York, where he worked as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. He began speaking publicly against slavery in 1843 and was hired as a lecturer by the Massachusetts Anti-Â�Slavery Society the following year. In addition to giving many speeches, he published works in different genres, including an 1847 autobiographical narrative and the 1853 novel Clotel; or, the President’s Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life, believed to be the first novel written by an African American. Brown traveled to Europe in 1849 and lived abroad from 1849 to 1854, in part because of the danger in the United States of his capture and re-Â�enslavement, particularly after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. His freedom was purchased by friends in 1854, and he returned to the United States.

Reprinted from William Wells Brown, St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots. A Lecture, Delivered before the Metropolitan Athenaeum, London, May 16, and at St. Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia, December 20, 1854. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1855.

184╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents Keenly interested in history, Brown authored various historical works and gave lectures on history with a focus on people of African descent. The following is an excerpt from his 1854 speech on the Haitian Revolution given in both London and Philadelphia, published as a pamphlet in 1855. .â•›.â•›.â•›At the beginning of the French Revolution, in 1789, there were 900,000 souls on the island. Of these, 700,000 were Africans, 60,000 men of mixed blood, and the remainder were whites and Caribbeans. As in all countries where involuntary servitude exists, morality was at a low stand. Owing to the amalgamation of whites with blacks, there arose a class known as mulattoes and quadroons. This class, though allied to the whites by the tenderest ties of nature, were their most bitter enemies. Although emancipated by law from the dominion of individuals, the mulattoes had no rights; shut out from society by their color, deprived of religious and political privileges, they felt their degradation even more keenly than the bond slavesâ•›.â•›.â•›. In England, Wilberforce, Sharpe, and Clarkson were using their great talents to abolish the African slave-Â�trade, and to emancipate the slaves in the English colonies. The principles which they advocated were taken up by the friends of the blacks in Paris, and a society was formed, with Gregoire, Raynal, Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, and Lafayette at its head. The English philanthropists issued their publications in London; they found their way to Paris, and thence to St. Domingo. These made the blacks aware of their rights, as well as of their strengthâ•›.â•›.â•›. However, the general excitement which the revolution in Paris created amongst the mulattoes soon satisfied the planters that they could not retain their power without the aid of France. The mulattoes immediately despatched a deputation to Paris, to urge upon the Constituent Assembly their claims to equal rights with the whites. The whites sent a deputation to oppose the mulattoes. Both parties were well received at Paris, but the men of color were objects of special favor. Oge, one of the mulatto deputies, became known to Brissot, Barnave, Raynal, and Gregoire, and was allowed to appear in the Assembly, where he laid the wrongs of his race before that august body. In urging his claims, he said, if equality was withheld from the mulattoes, they would appeal to force. This was ably seconded in an eloquent speech by the noble-Â�hearted and philanthropic Barnave, who exclaimed at the top of his voice, so as to be heard at the remotest part of the Assembly, “Perish the colonies, rather than a principle!” Noble language this! Would that the fathers of the American Revolution had been as consistent! The Assembly passed a decree giving the mulattoes equal rights with the whites, and Oge was made bearer of the news to his brethren. As might have been expected, this news created a great sensation amongst the planters in Hayti, who, as soon as the intelligence reached them, resolved that the decree should not be carried into effect. A portion of the mulattoes determined that the decree should be enforced, and assembled in arms, with Oge as their leaderâ•›.â•›.â•›.

St. Domingo╇ •â•‡ 185 .â•›.â•›.â•›The free blacks were defeated, and their brave leader, being taken prisoner, was, with a barbarity equalled only by its folly, broken alive on the wheelâ•›.â•›.â•›. While the National Assembly at Paris was discussing the merits of the outbreak in the colony, the Colonial Assembly, which was in session at St. Marc, took the title of General Assembly, and declared that they would never share their rights with the mulattoes. Moreover, the Colonial Assembly threw off their allegiance to the mother country, and declared themselves the sole legitimate representatives of St. Domingo, and dismissed the governor-Â�general, whose power emanated from France alone. When this news reached Paris, the National Assembly proclaimed the doings of the Colonial Assembly null and void, and ordered a new election to be held in Hayti, and sent out troops to enforce their decreesâ•›.â•›.â•›. The planters repelled with force the troops sent out by France; denying its prerogatives, and refusing the civic oath. In the midst of these thickening troubles, the planters who resided in France were invited to return, and to assist in vindicating the civil independence of the island. Then was it that the mulattoes earnestly appealed to the slaves, and the result was appalling. The slaves awoke as from an ominous dream, and demanded their rights with sword in handâ•›.â•›.â•›. For the purpose of striking terror into the minds of the blacks, and to convince them that they should never have their freedom, the French planters were murdering them on every hand by thousands. In a single day, at the Cape, more than five hundred faithful servants, who had not taken up arms against their masters, but who refused to fight for them, were put to death. This example set by the whites taught the men of color that the struggle was for liberty or death. Crime was repaid with crime, and vengeance followed vengeance. The educated, refined, and civilized whites degraded themselves even more than the barbarous and ignorant slavesâ•›.â•›.â•›. The struggle in St. Domingo was watched with intense interest by the friends of the blacks, both in Paris and in London, and all appeared to look with hope to the rising up of a black chief, who should prove himself adequate to the emergency. Nor did they look in vain. In the midst of the disorders that threatened on all sides, the negro chief made his appearance in the form of an old slave named Toussaint. This man was the grandson of the king of Arradas, one of the most wealthy, powerful, and influential monarchs on the west coast of Africa. Toussaint was a man of prepossessing appearance, of middle stature, and possessed an iron frame. His dignified, calm, and unaffected features, and broad and well-Â�developed forehead, would cause him to be selected, in any company of men, as one who was born for a leader. By his energy and perseverance, he had learned to read and write, and had carefully studied the works of Raynal, and a few others who had written in behalf of human freedom. This class of literature, no doubt, had great influence over the mind of Toussaint, and did much to give him the power that he afterwards exercised in the island. His private virtues were many, and he had a deep and pervading sense of religion, and, in the camp, carried it even as far as Oliver Cromwell. It might be said that an inward and

186╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents prophetic genius revealed to him the omnipotence of a firm and unwearied adherence to a principle. He was not only loved by his fellow-Â�slaves, but the planters held him in high consideration. When called into the camp, Toussaint was fifty years of age. One of his great characteristics was his humanity. Before taking any part in the revolution, he aided his master’s family to escape from the impending danger. After seeing his master’s household beyond the reach of the revolutionary movement, he entered the army as an inferior officer; but was soon made aide-Â�de-camp to General Bissou. Disorder and bloodshed reigned triumphant throughout the island, and every day brought fresh intelligence of depredations committed by whites, mulattoes, and blacks. Such was the condition of affairs when a decree was passed by the Colonial Assembly, giving equal rights to the mulattoes, and asking their aid in restoring order, and reducing the slaves again to their chains. Overcome by this decree, and having gained all they wished, the mulattoes joined the planters in a murderous crusade against the blacks, who were the slaves. The union of the whites and mulattoes made an army too strong and powerful for the slaves, and the latter were defeated in several pitched battles. But the blacks were fighting for personal liberty, and therefore were not to be easily conqueredâ•›.â•›.â•›. While the people of St. Domingo were thus pitted against each other, the revolution in France was making sad havoc. Robespierre and Danton ruled in Paris; the Swiss Guard had been massacred; the royalists and nobility had fled, and the guillotine had once more fallen; and the head of Louis XVI had rolled into the basket. At the news of the king’s death, the slaves in Hayti gave up all hope and thought of peace and freedom under the French, renounced the revolutionary movements in Paris, and passed over into the service of the king of Spain. Toussaint was appointed brigadier-Â�general in the Spanish army, and soon appeared in the field as a most powerful and determined foe to the French planters. While the blacks were becoming formidable under the protection of Spain, the mulattoes were gaining strength and influence under the French. Affairs had scarcely assumed this shape in Hayti, when General Galbeaud was sent out from France to take command of the army in St. Domingo. The commissioners in the island refused to give up their authority, and a civil war commenced between the new general and the commissioners .â•›.â•›. A fierce and sanguinary struggle followed, in which both parties showed that they thought they were in the right, and which was attended with the most fatal results.â•›.â•›.â•›. Having no confidence in the planters, and fearing a reaction, the commissioners proclaimed a general emancipation to the slave population, and invited the blacks who had joined the Spaniards to return. Toussaint and his followers accepted the invitation, returned, and were enrolled in the army under the commissionersâ•›.â•›.â•›. During these sad commotions, Toussaint, by his superior knowledge of the character of his race, his generosity, humanity, and courage, had won his way up to the highest position in the French army. Becoming aware that they were equal to the emergency, and wearied with internal commotion, the commissioners offered Toussaint the entire command of the army; and Lavaux, the governor,

St. Domingo╇ •â•‡ 187 nominated the negro chief as second in the government in the island. Lavaux being soon after recalled to France, Toussaint was declared Governor-Â�General of St. Domingo; and, by his genius and surpassing activity, he levied fresh forces, raised the reputation of the army, and drove the English troops out of the islandâ•›.â•›.â•›. .â•›.â•›.â•›For many months France had paid no attention to the condition of St. Domingo. She was too much engaged with her own revolution at homeâ•›.â•›.â•›. The conquerer of Egypt now turned his attention to St. Domingoâ•›.â•›.â•›. News of the intended invasion reached St. Domingo some days before the squadron had sailed from Brest; and therefore the blacks had time to prepare to meet their enemies. Toussaint had concentrated his forces at such points as he expected would be first attacked. Christophe, who stood next to Toussaint in command, had Cape City in his charge. This chief was born a slave in the island of New Grenada, was emancipated, and went to Hayti, where he became the keeper of an inn. He subsequently dealt in cattle, at which business he made a small fortune. Being six feet three inches in height, Christophe made an imposing appearance on horseback, when dressed in his uniform of a general. He had a majestic carriage, and an eye full of fire; and a braver man never lived. Next to Christophe was Dessalines. The furrows and incisions on the face, neck, and arms of this man pointed out the coast of Africa as his birthplace. He was a bold, turbulent, and ferocious spirit, whose barbarous eloquence lay in expressive signs rather than in wordsâ•›.â•›.â•›. Let the slave-Â�holders in our Southern States tremble when they shall call to mind these events. While Dessalines was carrying fire and sword amongst the planters where he had command, Toussaint and Christophe were cutting the French to pieces at Crete-Â�a-Pierratâ•›.â•›.â•›. The forcible capture of Toussaint, which took place about this time, is too well known to be recapitulated hereâ•›.â•›.â•›. Christophe, who had taken command of the insurgents, now gave unmistakable proof that he was a great general, and scarcely second to Toussaint. Twenty thousand fresh troops arrived from France to the aid of Rochambeau; yet the blacks were victorious wherever they foughtâ•›.â•›.â•›. After the retirement of the French, a declaration of independence was put forth, signed by Dessalines, Christophe, and Clervaux, in which they said, “We have sworn to show no mercy to those who may dare to speak to us of slavery. We shall be inexorable, perhaps cruel, toward the troops, who, forgetting the object for which, from 1789, they have not ceased to fight, may come from Europe to inflict on us servitude and death. Nothing will be too dear to be sacrificed; nothing impossible to be executed, by men from whom it may be wished to snatch the first of all blessings. Should we be obliged to shed rivers of blood; should we, to preserve our freedom, be compelled to set on fire seven-Â� eighths of the globe, we shall be pronounced innocent before the tribunal of Providence, who has not created men to see them groan under a yoke so oppressive and so ignominious.”

188╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents Who knows but that a Toussaint, a Christophe, a Rigaud, a Clervaux, and a Dessalines, may some day appear in the Southern States of this Union? That they are there, no one will doubt. That their souls are thirsting for liberty, all will admit. The spirit that caused the blacks to take up arms, and to shed their blood in the American revolutionary war, is still amongst the slaves of the south; and, if we are not mistaken, the day is not far distant when the revolution of St. Domingo will be reënacted in South Carolina and Louisiana. The Haytian revolution was not unlike that which liberated the slaves of Spartaâ•›.â•›.â•›. We cannot close without once more reviewing the character of Toussaint. Of all the great men of St. Domingo, the first place must be given to him. He laid the foundation for the emancipation of his race and the independence of the island. He fought her battles, and at last died in a cold prison for her sake and his fidelity to the cause of freedom. As an officer in battle he had no superior in Hayti. He defeated the French in several pitched battles, drove the English from the island, and refused a crown when it was offered to him. When his friends advised him to be on his guard against the treachery of Leclerc, he replied, “For one to expose one’s life for one’s country when in danger is a sacred duty; but to arouse one’s country in order to save one’s life is inglorious.” From ignorance he became educated by his own exertions. From a slave he rose to be a soldier, a general, and a governor, and might have been a king. He possessed a rare genius, which showed itself in the private circle, in the council-Â�chamber, and on the field of battle. His very name became a tower of strength to his friends and a terror to his foesâ•›.â•›.â•›. And, lastly, Toussaint’s career as a Christian, a statesman, and a general, will lose nothing by a comparison with that of Washington. Each was the leader of an oppressed and outraged people, each had a powerful enemy to contend with, and each succeeded in founding a government in the New World. Toussaint’s government made liberty its watchword, incorporated it in its constitution, abolished the slave-Â�trade, and made freedom universal among the people. Washington’s government incorporated slavery and the slave-Â�trade, and enacted laws by which chains were fastened upon the limbs of millions of people. Toussaint liberated his country-Â�men; Washington enslaved a portion of his, and aided in giving strength and vitality to an institution that will one day rend asunder the UNION that he helped to form. Already the slave in his chains, in the rice swamps of Carolina and the cotton fields of Mississippi, burns for revenge. In contemplating the fact that the slave would rise and vindicate his right to freedom by physical force, Jefferson said: – “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that, considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a conflict.

A Vindication of the Negro Race╇ •â•‡ 189 ╇╇ “What an incomprehensible machine is man! who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment be deaf to all those motives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict on his fellow-Â�men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.” And, should such a contest take place, the God of Justice will be on the side of the oppressed blacks. The exasperated genius of Africa would rise from the depths of the ocean, and show its threatening form; and war against the tyrants would be the rallying cry. The indignation of the slaves of the south would kindle a fire so hot that it would melt their chains, drop by drop, until not a single link would remain; and the revolution that was commenced in 1776 would then be finished, and the glorious sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, “That all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” would be realized, and our government would no longer be the scorn and contempt of the friends of freedom in other lands, but would really be the LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.

From A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Â�Government, and Civilized Progress, as Demonstrated by Historical Events of the Haytian Revolution; and the Subsequent Acts of that People Since Their National Independence James Theodore Holly, 1857 James Theodore Holly (1829–1911), the son of free black parents, was raised in Washington, DC, and Buffalo, New York. In the 1850s, Holly joined the antislavery movement as well as the Episcopal Church, becoming a priest in 1856 and taking a position with a congregation in New Haven, Connecticut. A supporter of black nationalism and pan-Â�Africanism, Holly believed that people of African descent had a particular role to play in the world and endorsed black emigration as the means for African Americans to secure true independence and realize their full potential. He travelled to Haiti during the 1850s in order to promote African American emigration to the island country, eventually settling there in 1861. In 1874, he was consecrated the missionary Bishop of Haiti, the first black bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Reprinted from James Theodore Holly, A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-� Government, and Civilized Progress, as Demonstrated by Historical Events of the Haytian Revolution; and the Subsequent Acts of that People Since Their National Independence. New Haven: William H. Stanley, 1857.

190╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents In 1855 and 1856, Holly delivered a lecture on Haitian history in various cities as part of his emigration recruitment efforts. The lecture was published in 1857 as a pamphlet, from which the following excerpt is taken. The Auspicious Dawn of Negro Rule Toussaint, by his acute genius and daring prowess, made himself the most efficient instrument in accomplishing these important results, contemplated by the three French Commissioners, who brought the last decrees of the National Assembly of France, proclaiming liberty throughout the island to all the inhabitants thereof; and thus, like another Washington, proved himself the regenerator and savior of his country. On this account, therefore, he was solemnly invested with the executive authority of the colony; and their labors having been thus brought to such a satisfactory and auspicious result, two of the Commissioners returned home to France. No man was more competent to sway the civil destinies of these enfranchised bondmen than he who had preserved such an unbounded control over them as their military chieftain, and led them on to glorious deeds amid the fortunes of warfare recently waged in that island. And no one else could hold that responsible position of an official mediator between them and the government of France, with so great a surety and pledge of their continued freedom, as Toussaint L’Ouverture. And there was no other man, in fine, that these rightfully jealous freemen would have permitted to carry out such stringent measures in the island, so nearly verging to serfdom, which were so necessary at that time in order to restore industry, but one of their own caste whose unreserved devotion to the cause of their freedom, placed him beyond the suspicion of any treacherous design to re-Â�enslave them. Hence, by these eminent characteristics possessed by Toussaint in a super excellent degree, he was the very man for the hour; and the only one fitted for the governorship of the colony calculated to preserve the interests of all concerned. The leading Commissioners of France, then in the island, duly recognized this fact, and did not dispute with him the claim to this responsible position. Thus had the genius of Toussaint developed itself to meet an emergency that no other man in the world was so peculiarly prepared to fulfil; and thereby he has added another inextinguishable proof of the capacity of the negro for self-Â�government. But if the combination of causes, which thus pointed him out as the only man that could safely undertake the fulfillment of the gubernatorial duties, are such manifest proofs of negro capacity; then the manner in which we shall see that he afterwards discharged the duties of that official station, goes still further to magnify the self-Â�evident fact of negro capabilityâ•›.â•›.â•›. The genius of Toussaint by towering so far above the common ideas of this age in relation to the true purposes of government; and by carrying out his bold problem with such eminent success, has thereby emblazoned on the historic page of the world’s statemanship a fame more enduring than Pitt, who

A Vindication of the Negro Race╇ •â•‡ 191 laid the foundation of a perpetual fund to liquidate the national debt of England. I say Toussaint has carved for himself a more enduring fame, because his scheme was more useful to mankind. The negro statesman devised a plan that comprehended in its scope the well being of the masses of humanity. But Pitt only laid a scheme whereby the few hereditary paupers pensioned on a whole nation, with the absurd right to govern it, might still continue to plunge their country deeper and deeper into debt, to subserve their own extravagant purposes; and then provide for the payment of the same out of the blood and sweat, and bones of the delving operatives and colliers of Great Britain. Thus, then Toussaint by the evident superiority of his statesmanship, has left on the pages of the world’s statute book, an enduring and irrefutable testimony of the capacity of the negro for self-Â�government, and the loftiest achievements in national statesmanship. And Toussaint showed that he had not mistaken his position by proving himself equal to that trying emergency when that demigod of the historian Abbott, Napoleon Bonaparte, first Consul of France, conceived the infernal design of reeenslaving the heroic blacks of St. Domingo; and who for the execution of this nefarious purpose sent the flower of the French Army, and a naval fleet of fifty-Â�six vessels under command of General Leclerc, the husband of Pauline, the voluptuous and abandoned sister of Napoleon. When this formidable expedition arrived on the coast of St. Domingo, the Commander found Toussaint and his heroic compeers ready to defend their God given liberty against even the terrors of the godless First Consul of France. Wheresoever these minions of slavery and despotism made their sacrilegous advances, devastation and death reigned under the exasperated genius of Toussaint. He made that bold resolution and unalterable determination, which, in ancient times, would have entitled him to be deified among the gods; that resolution was to reduce the fair eden-Â�like Isle of Hispaniola to a desolate waste like Sahara; and suffer every black to be immolated in a manly defense of his liberty, rather than the infernal and accursed system of negro slavery should again be established on that soil. He considered it far better, that his sable countrymen should be DEAD FREEMEN than LIVING SLAVES. The French veterans grew pale at the terrible manner that the blacks set to work to execute this resolution. Leclerc found it impossible to execute his design by force; and he was only able to win the reconciliation of the exasperated blacks to the government of France, by abandoning his hostilities and pledging himself to respect their freedom thereafter. It was then that the brave Negro Generals of Toussaint went over in the service of Leclerc; and it was then, that the Negro Chieftain himself, resigned his post to the Governor General appointed by Napoleon, and went into the shades of domestic retirement, at his home in Ennery. Thus did Toussaint, by his firm resolution to execute his purpose, by his

192╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents devotion to liberty and the cause of his race, so consistently maintained under all circumstances, more than deify himself; he proved himself more than a patriot; he showed himself to be the unswerving friend and servant of God and humanity. Now, with the illustrious traits of character of this brilliant negro before us, who will dare to say that the race who can thus produce such a a noble specimen of a hero and statesman, is incapable of self-Â�government. Let such a vile slanderer, if there any longer remains such, hide his diminutive head in the presence of his illustrious negro superior! I know it may be said that, after all Toussaint was found wanting in the necessary qualities to meet, and triumph in, the last emergency, when he was finally beguiled, and sent to perish in the dungeons of France, a victim of the perfidious machinations of the heartless Napoleon. On this point I will frankly own that Toussaint was deficient in those qualities by which his antagonist finally succeeded in getting him in his power. So long as manly skill and shrewdness – so long as bold and open tactics and honorable stratagems were resorted to, the black had proved himself, in every respect, the equal of the white man. But the negro’s heart had not yet descended to that infamous depth of subtle depravity, that could justify him in solemnly and publicly taking an oath, with the concealed, jesuitical purpose, of thereby gaining an opportunity to deliberately violate the same. He had no conception, therefore, that the white man from who he had learned all that he knew of true – religion I repeat it – he had no conception that the white man, bad as he was, slaveholder as he was – that even HE was really so debased, vile, and depraved, as to be capable of such a double-Â�dyed act of villainy, as breaking an oath solemnly sealed by invoking the name of the Eternal God of Ages. Hence, when the Captain General, Leclerc, said to Toussaint, in presence of the French and Black Generals, uplifting his hand and jewelled sword to heaven: “I swear before the face of the Supreme Being, to respect the liberty of the people of St. Domingo.” Toussaint believed in the sincerity of this solemn oath of the white man. He threw down his arms, and went to end the remainder of his days in the bosom of his family. This was, indeed, a sad mistake for him, to place so much confidence in the word of the white man. As the result of this first error, he easily fell into another equally treacherous. He was invited by General Brunet, another minion of Napoleon, in St. Domingo, to partake of the social hospitalities of his home; but, Toussaint, instead of finding the domestic civilities that he expected, was bound in chains, sent on board the Hero, a vessel already held in readiness for the consummation of the vile deed, in which he was carried a prisoner to France. That magnanimous man bitterly repented at his leisure, his too great confidence in the word of the white man, in the cold dark dungeons of the castle of Joux. And the depth of this repentance was intensified by a compulsory fast ordered by that would-Â�be great and magnanimous man, Napoleon Bonaparte, who denied him food, and starved him to death.

A Vindication of the Negro Race╇ •â•‡ 193 Great God! how the blood runs chill, in contemplating the ignoble end of the illustrious negro chieftain and statesman, by such base and perfidious means! A Bloody Interlude Finally Establishes Negro Sovereignty But if the godlike Toussaint had thus proved himself deficient in those mean and unhallowed qualities that proved his sad overthrow, nevertheless, the race again proved itself equal to the emergency, by producing other leaders to fill up the gap now left open. The negro generals, who had gone over to the service of France, on the solemn assurances and protestations of Leclerc, soon learned to imitate this new lesson of treachery, and accordingly deserted his cause, and took up arms against France again. And, if afterwards, the heroic but sanguinary black chief, Dessalines, who had previously massacred 500 innocent whites (if any of these treacherous colonists can be called innocent) at Mirebalais; 700 more at Verettes, and several hundred others at La Riviere – I say again, if we now see him resume his work of slaughter and death, and hang 500 French prisoners on gibbets erected in sight of the very camp of General Rochambeau, we may see in this the bitter fruit of the treachery of the whites, in this dreadful reaction of the blacks. These were the roots springing up, which Toussaint spoke of so sorrowfully on the ship’s deck, as he was borne away a prisoner to France, from the coast of St. Domingo. The captive hero, on this occasion, compared himself to a tree, saying: “They have cut down in me the trunk of the tree; but the roots are many and deep.” The furious Dessalines was, therefore, one of the foremost and firmest of these roots left in St. Domingo by the fallen chief, Toussaint, who soon sprung up into a verdant and luxurious growth of sanguinary deeds, by which the independence of his Island home was baptized in a Sea of Blood. Finally, if we see Dessalines with red hot shot, prepared to sink the squadron of general Rochambeau, as it departed from France, although the negro chief had solemnly stipulated to allow it to sail from the harbor unmolested, we find in this determination of the blood-Â�thirsty man, how well he had learned the lesson of treachery and perfidy from the example of the white man. Thus, if shocking depravity in perfidiousness and covenant breaking, is needed as another evidence of the negro’s equality with the white man, in order to prove his ability to govern himself, then the implacable black chief, Dessalines, furnishes us with that proof. I think, however, we may thank God, that the last act of destruction contemplated by Dessalines was not consummated, in consequence of an English fleet taking Rochambeau and his squadron as prisoners of war in the harbor of Port-Â�au-Prince; and thus, by this providential interposition, saved the race from a stigma on the pages of history, as foul as that which darkens the moral character of their antagonists. Having now arrived at the epoch when the banners of negro independence waved triumphantly over the Queen of the Antilles; if we look back at the trials

194╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents and tribulations through which they came up to this point of National regeneration, we have presented to us, in the hardy endurance and perseverance manifested by them, in the steady pursuit of Liberty and Independence, the overwhelming evidence of their ability to govern themselves. For fourteen long and soul-Â�trying years – twice the period of the revolutionary struggle of this country – they battled manfully for freedom. It was on the 8th of March, 1790, as we have seen, that the immortal man of color, Vincent Oje, obtained a decree from the National Assembly guaranteeing equal political privileges to the free men of color in the island. And, after a continued sanguinary struggle dating from that time, the never-Â�to-be-Â�forgotten self-Â�emancipated black slave, Jean Jacque Dessalines, on the 1st of January, 1804, proclaimed negro freedom and independence throughout the island of St. Domingo. That freedom and independence are written in the world’s history in the ineffaceable characters of blood; and its crimsoned letters will ever testify of the determination and of the ability of the negro to be free, throughout the everlasting succession of ages.

The Haitian Revolution in resolutions adopted by African American State and regional conventions (1858, 1859, 1865) In addition to the national black convention movement – which began with the First Annual Convention of the People of Colour in Philadelphia in September 1830 – African Americans throughout the United States met in statewide and regional conventions during the antebellum era, beginning in 1840 with the Convention of the Colored Inhabitants of the State of New York. African Americans in Pennsylvania inaugurated their statewide conventions in 1841; and by 1865, numerous states had followed suit by convening at least one such convention, including Michigan, Ohio, California, Louisiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. The regional New England Colored Citizens’ Convention, which met in Boston in 1859, included delegates from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Canada. The following resolutions adopted by the 1858 Ohio convention, the 1859 New England convention, and the 1865 North Carolina convention demonstrate the resonance of the Haitian revolution as an inspiring example of the resistance to oppression, black independence, and self-Â�determination that the conventions sought to promote. The resolutions also reveal African Americans’ interest in current events in Haiti and in US–Haitian relations.

The Ohio resolution is reprinted from the following source: Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio. Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co, 1858. The New England and North Carolina resolutions appeared in the Liberator (Boston), and the National Anti-�Slavery Standard (New York).

Men of Mark╇ •â•‡ 195 From Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio. Held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th days of November, 1858 E. P. Walker offered the following: Resolved, That Hayti sets the colored people of this country an example of proper independence; and that, that government is doing more for the upbuilding of the black race, than all other instrumentalities proposed or controled [sic] by colored men. From “New England Colored Citizens’ Convention” [August 1–2, 1859] Liberator, 26 August 1859 [The Business Committee offered the following:] Resolved, That notwithstanding the studied misrepresentation of the pro-Â� slavery American press with regard to the island of Hayti, we know that the Haytiens are the only people who achieved their independence by the sword, unaided by other nations; and that they have maintained it to the present hour, through their various revolutions, (which have been progressive steps towards Republicanism,) is full confirmation of their capacity for self-Â�government. From “The Colored Convention” [Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina, Raleigh, September 29, 1865] National Anti-Â�Slavery Standard, 4 November 1865 [The Business Committee offered the following:] Resolved, That we hail the event of emancipation, the establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau, protecting the interest of the colored people of the South – the recognition of the independence of Hayti and the Republic of Liberia .â•›.â•›. the progress of an enlightened sentiment of moral obligation and progress of Republican liberty everywhere with joy and thanksgiving, as turning a bright page in our history, etc.

From Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising William J. Simmons, 1887 William James Simmons (1849–1890) was born a slave in South Carolina. With his mother and two siblings, he escaped to Philadelphia, where they united with an uncle; to avoid recapture, the family was forced to move to various cities. They Reprinted from William J. Simmons, Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising, Cleveland: Geo. M. Rewell & Co., 1887.

196╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents eventually settled in Bordentown, New Jersey, where Simmons worked as a dentist’s apprentice before enlisting in the Union Army at the age of fifteen, serving until 1865. In 1867, he joined the Baptist church in Bordentown and felt the call to the ministry. Having learned to read and write from his uncle, he attended Madison College; Rochester University; and Howard University, where he received his B. A. and M. A. degrees. During his college years, he taught in Washington’s public schools and served as a principal. In the 1870s and 1880s, Simmons engaged in many different pursuits in Florida, Kentucky, and Washington, including teaching, serving as a pastor, heading the Normal and Theological Institution (later the State University of Louisville, Kentucky, and then Simmons University), and editing Baptist publications. Simmon’s 1887 Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising was the first compilation of biographies of black leaders. Of his motives for writing the volume, Simmons said of his subjects, “I wish to exalt them; I want their lives snatched from obscurity to become household matter for conversation.” The following is the chapter on Toussaint L’Ouverture. Toussaint L’Ouverture The Negro Soldier, Statesman and Martyr AFTER the eloquent words of the golden tongued orator, Wendell Phillips, it seems almost profanity to undertake the sketch of the distinguished San Domingo chief, who rose from a slave to the position he occupies in history. The Negro race cannot be spoken of without mentioning among its great men the subject of this sketch. He is, perhaps, the most eminent Negro that has ever lived in the world. This I state with some caution; but when it is remembered that he has played an important part in the three characters which I have here mentioned at the head of this sketch, it can easily be seen that none can be mentioned who has so ably filled at least the two former positions. It is a fact that statesmen are failures as soldiers, and soldiers are failures as statesmen; it is also a fact that statesmen can talk much, but rarely become martyrs. A soldier cannot be called a martyr, for as a rule he hires himself to the government for pay for the very purpose of being shot at. He expects to die either in the hospital or in battle; beforehand he calculates concerning wounds and sickness. Then, too, in general, fighting men are not singled out, but are many times shot down in the crowd. Moreover, in tactics of recent days, generals or leaders have their places in the rear, rather than in the lead, assuming that an officer of high rank could not be well spared and that the common soldiery could easily be supplied, but the general that commands the battle must be protected in order that his life may be longer for the purpose of direction. But aside from these reflections, I desire to present a few facts in regard to this man’s life. The date of the birth of Toussaint L’Ouverture is not known, but it is supposed to have been about the twentieth of May, 1743, though from his name it might be November 1, as that is “All Saints’ Day” with the French. For several years he was so feeble and slender that he was called the little “lath,” but as he

Men of Mark╇ •â•‡ 197 grew to the age of twelve he was much stronger, and played, frolicked, jumped and ran races with boys. His disposition was kind, and his manner frank and open. He differed from the boys of his age in his careful and gentle treatment of all animals committed to his care. It should be mentioned here that, as a boy he tended the flocks and herds. His real name was Toussaint Breda, from the name of the estate on which he worked, and M. Bayou De Libertas was so pleased with him that he made him his coachman, a situation that was highly prized by slaves as it brought them in contact with the master, and if he happened to be kind, it gave them less drudgery. Performing his duties well in this respect, he was afterwards promoted to the office of steward of the sugar house. He finally married a widow named Susan, who had a little son named Placide. They were married according to the rites of the Catholic church, and lived peaceably and happily. He learned to read, contrary to the usual custom; but though he read very little, what he did read he understood thoroughly. There was a French author called Abbé Raynal who was much opposed to slavery. One of his books fell into the hands of Toussaint and made a deep impression upon him. The question was discussed in that book, what should be done to overthrow slavery, and these words were used in connection with the question: Self-Â�interest alone governs kings and nations; we must look elsewhere; a courageous chief is all the Negroes need; where is he? Where is that great man whom nature owes to her vexed, oppressed and tormented children? He will doubtless appear; he will come forth and raise the sacred standard of liberty. This venerable signal will gather around him his companions in misfortune. More impetuous than the torrents, they will elsewhere leave the indelible trace of their just resentment. Everywhere people will bless the name of the hero who shall have reestablished the rights of the human race. These words, no doubt, sank deep into the heart of the reader, and as he pondered them they more and more impressed upon his mind, and indeed the prophecy seemed fitted to him to such an extent, that is was without doubt the keynote to his success. At the time when he arose from obscurity to fame a revolution was going on in France, and the friends of liberty were growing bolder every day and gave encouragement to three classes of persons who were on the island of San Domingo, and upon whom liberty would have a great effect. There were at the time 30,000 whites and 20,000 free mulattoes and 500,000 black slaves. Contrary to the American custom, the slaves in San Domingo followed the condition of the father and were free as far as the body was concerned. He was permitted to own property and amass all the wealth he could, but was not permitted political privileges. In America the child followed the condition of the mother, and no matter if they had a white father, the progeny was a slave. The white planters of course had many children by their slaves, and these mulattoes referred to were a very powerful class. They were neither allowed in the church, nor could they be buried in the same graveyard. This class of people despised the

198╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents Negroes, though they themselves felt, perhaps, more keenly their degradation than did the slaves, because they might be insulted by a white man and could not retaliate with a blow, for had they dared to do such a thing the right hand would be cut off. They were not allowed to be lawyers, doctors or priests; they could not attend school with the white boys; they could not intermarry; while they had nominal freedom, and many had been sent to France and educated, and had the advantage of culture and refinement. The distinction that was drawn between themselves and the white people was always like a knife in their hearts. This ought to have made them feel more kindly to those who were on the plantation and who had less of the enjoyments of life, but it seemed only to make them more forgetful of their brethren. About this time, feeling that their numbers and wealth entitled them to more considerations than they had, they sent a deputation to France, asking the convention to grant civil rights, a thing for which Negroes have contended so bravely in America. They carried with them a gift of 6,000,000 francs, and pledged one-Â�fifth of their annual rental towards payment of the national debt, and only asked in return that the yoke of civil and social contempt should be taken away. The convention issued a decree at once saying that all freeborn were equal before the law. The representative of this opinion, Oge, carried the petition to the Island of San Domingo and laid it before the General Assembly of the island, and one old planter seized it and tore it into pieces and trampled it under his feet, and swore by all the gods that he would rather see the island sink than to have their bastards made their equals. They took Oge and broke his limbs on a wheel, and cut off his head as a warning to all those whom he represented. His body was cut in four pieces and hung in the four principal parts of the cities of the island. This caused the mulattoes much anxiety, and there was a class of what would be called in this country “poor whites” who sought every opportunity to inflame their anger, and make them feel their disappointments by insulting them and inflicting cruelties and outrages upon them. The white planters having thus outraged the decree which had been passed in the convention, sought the aid of the English against their own country, offering to make the island over to Great Britian in case of success. In the meantime, they had refused to take the oath of allegiance to France; the Negroes had suffered along with the mulattoes, but they did not understand what was the cause of the extra whippings and murdering of the patriots. But when they came to understand it, on the twenty-Â�second of August, 1791, they rose with a determination of defending themselves and gaining liberty. Toussaint L’Ouverture was at this time working on the plantation when he heard that the planters had called for aid of the English, and four thousand Negroes had risen in insurrection. Jean Francois was the leader of these armed Negroes. When the French governor in the Island called on him with his troops to lay down his arms, he replied: We have never been failing in respect or duty we owe to the representatives of the king of France. The king has beheld our lot and broken our chains, but those who should have proven fathers to us have been tyrants, mon-

Men of Mark╇ •â•‡ 199 sters unworthy the fruits of our labors. Do you ask the sheep to throw themselves into the jaws of the wolf? To prove to you, excellent sir, that we are not so cruel as you think, we assure you that we wish for peace with all our souls; but on the condition that all the whites, without a single exception, leave the cape. Let them carry with them their gold, their jewels; all we seek is liberty; but victory or death for freedom is our profession of faith, and we will maintain it to the last drop of our blood. The slaveholders mounted the English cockade and entered into alliance with Great Britian, while their revolted slaves joined the Spanish who were on the eastern part of San Domingo, and had become allies of the king of France. It was in this state of things that Toussaint L’Ouverture came to the front. He joined the black soldiers and occupied himself as physician, trying to heal the wounded and take care of the sick. His disposition made him dislike war, and even when he became their leader he would never permit any cruelties if he knew it. The Negroes having suffered some defeats, desired a leader of more intelligence than the one they had, and they made Toussaint aid-Â�de-camp of Biassou, under the title of brigadier. Commissioners came from France for the purpose of negotiating peace, and the blacks sent deputies to the colonial assembly to help the French commissioners; but the planters would yield nothing and finally lost all. History repeated itself in the American conflict; for when the peace commissioners met and overtures were made to the South, they refused every overture. Concession of Congress and profession of kindness on the part of Abraham Lincoln were all refused; and in their perversity the South lost everything, just as the planters in San Domingo had. Speaking of him as a soldier, Wendell Phillips has said: Cromwell manufactured his own army; Napoleon at the age of twenty-Â� seven was placed at the head of the best troops that Europe ever saw. They were both successful. “But,” says Macaulay, “with such disadvantages the Englishman showed the greatest genius. Whether you will allow the inference or not, you will at least grant it is a fair mode of measurement; apply it to Toussaint. Cromwell never saw an army until he was forty. This man never saw a soldier until he was fifty. Cromwell manufactured his own army, out of what? Englishmen – the best blood in Europe out of the middle classes of Englishmen – the best blood of the Island. And with it he conquered what? Englishmen – their equals. This man manufactured his army out of what? Out of what you class a despicable race of Negroes, debased and demoralized by two hundred years of slavery. One hundred thousand of them imported into the Island within four years, unable to speak a dialect intelligible even to each other. Yet out of this mixed, as you say despicable mass, he forged a thunderbolt, and hurled it at what? At the proudest blood of Europe, the Spaniards, and sent him home conquered; at the most warlike blood in Europe, the French, and put them under his feet. At the pluckiest blood in Europe, the English, and they skulked home

200╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents to Jamaica.” The soldiers were proud of their general and under his guidance performed miracles. It seems as if he never slept. The title “L’Ouverture” was given him because an officer said that wherever Toussaint goes he always makes an opening, the word means “the opening.” However, Toussaint finally cleared the island of all foreign enemies and restored peace and prosperity. With a view of establishing friendship between the planters and the former slaves, he offered five years’ work for their masters on the condition that they received one-Â�fourth of the produce out of which the cost of their subsistence was to be defrayed. He encouraged agriculture, and impressed upon the Negroes that the permanence of their freedom depended in a great measure upon their becoming owners and cultivators of the soil. Fugitives were invited to come back again, and the discipline of the army was so strict that some accused him even of security. They assumed perfect order under his regulations and he was the first ruler in the world to establish free trade by opening all the ports to the commerce of the world. He favored the white people more than the blacks from fear that he might be considered partial. On one occasion he assembled a court-Â�martial to try his nephew, who was accused of indecision in quelling a riot, and the court-Â�martial having adjudged him guilty, Toussaint ordered him to be shot. Everything was moving along peaceably on the island, which had again been restored to peace and prosperity by the beneficent laws which he established, when the news reached San Domingo that Bonaparte had issued a decree in May, 1801, restoring slavery in the island. This wicked measure was carried by a vote of two hundred and twelve against sixty-Â�five. Toussaint’s soul was fired with rage that vented itself in such words as these: “I took up arms for the freedom of my color; France proclaimed it and she has no right to nullify it. Our liberty is no longer in her hands; it is in our own; we will defend it or perish.” In January, 1802, General LeClerc sailed with sixty ships and thirty thousand of the best troops under Bonaparte’s command; “they were soldiers who had never met their equal and whose tread, like Cæsar’s,” says Phillips, “had shaken Europe; soldiers who had scaled and planted the French banners on the walls of Rome.” Toussaint was dismayed, for the moment, as he saw the fleets coming in the waters of San Domingo, and exclaimed, “All France is coming to enslave San Domingo. We must perish.” He then saw that he had trusted Bonaparte who had turned traitor to him. He then went to his people and said to them “Burn the cities, destroy the harvests, tear up the roads with cannon and poison the wells. Show the white man the hell he comes to make.” General LeClerc did not find it so easy to deceive Toussaint with the fair promise which he made, for Toussaint had already been much deceived by Napoleon and had no faith in any other white man who represented any sort of peace and freedom. Messengers were sent for a conference with Toussaint, and many assurances of freedom and protection were given and he was even promised the position of colleague with LeClerc in the government of the island, and that his officers would still retain their rank in the army. But none of these things deceived him. Finally LeClerc sent word that he was about to land at

Men of Mark╇ •â•‡ 201 Cape City, and received the reply, that “Toussaint is governor of this island. You send to him for permission. If the French soldiers set foot on shore I will burn the town and fight over the ashes.” Disregarding this he undertook to land. Christophe set fire to the splendid palace which the French architect had just finished for him, and in forty hours the place was in ashes. After having been defeated and having made many promises, Toussaint yielded in obedience, as he said, to the orders of the first consul, for he said he himself desired to live in retirement, but that he would accept favorable terms for his people and the army. LeClerc had won over by intrigue and bribes all of his generals except Christophe, Deesalines and his own brother Pierre. He took the oath of allegiance to be a faithful citizen, and on the same crucifix LeClerc swore that he should be faithfully protected and the island should be free. Of Toussaint, Hermona, a Spanish general said: “He was the purest soul God ever put in a body. He never broke his word.” Finally, on the tenth of June, he was arrested, his papers were seized, his house rifled and burned, and his wife and children captured, and at midnight he was taken on board the French ship Hero, to be borne to France as a prisoner of state. He was chained like a common criminal and locked in a cabin and guarded by soldiers with fixed bayonets – not even allowed to commune with his family. As he was leaving San Domingo he looked upon her beautiful mountains for the last time, and said they had cut down the tree of liberty, but the roots are many and deep and it will sprout again. From the vessel he was carried to the Castle Joux, near the borders of Switzerland. He was placed in a deep dungeon from the walls of which the water continually dropped, and was allowed four shillings a day for food; and the faithful servant, who had accompanied the family from San Domingo, was allowed to remain with him. It is believed Napoleon hated the Negro general because the people called him the “Black Napoleon,” and because he had addressed a letter once to Napoleon addressed: “From the Black Napoleon to the White Napoleon.” Several times while in prison he addressed letters to Bonaparte, but no answer was given to his appeals. He finally died of apoplexy in April, 1803, after having been in the dungeon about eight months, and when he was a little more than sixty years of age. His body was buried in the chapel under the castle. His wife became enfeebled and her mind wandered. She died in the year 1816. When the power of Napoleon was overthrown she was granted a pension for her support, and her sons released her from prison. No richer words can close this sketch than those of Phillips: I would call him Napoleon, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. “No Retaliation” was his great motto and the rule of his life; and the last words uttered to his son in France were these: “My boy, you will one day go back to San Domingo: forget that France murdered your father.” I would call him Cromwell, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down to him into his grave; I would call him Washington, but the

202╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents great Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire rather than permit the slave trade in the humble village of his dominions. You think me fanatic to-Â�night, for you read history not with your eyes but with your prejudices. But fifty years hence, when truth gets a hearing, the muse of history will put Phocion for the Greeks, Brutus for the Romans, Hampton for England, Fayette for France, choose Washington as the bright consummate flower of our earlier civilization, and John Brown as the ripe fruit of our noon-Â�day; then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, Toussaint L’Ouverture.

From Lecture on Haiti. The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies Delivered at the World’s Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago, Jan. 2d, 1893 Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass (c.1817–1895), one of the most famous African American leaders of the nineteenth century, was born into slavery in Maryland. In 1838, he escaped to New York, where he began attending local abolitionist gatherings. After he spoke at an antislavery meeting in New Bedford in 1841, he was asked by the Massachusetts Anti-Â�Slavery Society to lecture for them. From the 1840s until his death, he was a nationally known and sought-Â�after orator, speaking against slavery and for black civil rights and, in the post-Â�bellum period, in support of the Fifteenth Amendment and against lynching. In addition to his many speeches, he also edited various newspapers and was the author of numerous works, including three memoirs, the short story “The Heroic Slave,” and many essays and editorials in contemporary periodicals. Douglass served as minister resident and consul general to Haiti from 1889 to 1891, a position to which he was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison. He was appointed by the Haitian President to serve as the Commissioner of the Haitian Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and on January 2, he gave two speeches on Haiti, subsequently published in a pamphlet. The first was given at the dedication ceremonies for the Pavilion. The second, from which the following excerpt is taken, was delivered at Quinn Chapel, an important African Methodist Episcopal Church. No man should presume to come before an intelligent American audience without a commanding object and an earnest purpose. In whatever else I may be Reprinted from Lecture on Haiti. The Haitian Pavilion Dedication Ceremonies Delivered at the World’s Fair, in Jackson Park, Chicago, Jan. 2d, 1893. By the Honorable Frederick Douglass. Chicago: Violet Agents Supply Co., 1893.

Lecture on Haiti╇ •â•‡ 203 deficient, I hope I am qualified, both in object and purpose, to speak to you this evening. My subject is Haiti, the Black Republic; the only self-Â�made Black Republic in the world. I am to speak to you of her character, her history, her importance and her struggle from slavery to freedom and to statehood. I am to speak to you of her progress in the line of civilization; of her relation with the United States; of€ her past and present; of her probable destiny; and of the bearing of her example as a free and independent Republic, upon what may be the destiny of the African race in our own country and elsewhere. If, by a true statement of facts and a fair deduction from them, I shall in any degree promote a better understanding of what Haiti is, and create a higher appreciation of her merits and services to the world; and especially, if I can promote a more friendly feeling for her in this country and at the same time give to Haiti herself a friendly hint as to what is hopefully and justly expected of her by her friends, and by the civilized world, my object and purpose will have been accomplished. There are many reasons why a good understanding should exist between Haiti and the United States. Her proximity; her similar government and her large and increasing commerce with us, should alone make us deeply interested in her welfare, her history, her progress and her possible destiny. Haiti is a rich country. She has many things which we need and we have many things which she needs. Intercourse between us is easy. Measuring distance by time and improved steam navigation, Haiti will one day be only three days from New York and thirty-Â�six hours from Florida; in fact our next door neighbor. On this account, as well as others equally important, friendly and helpful relations should subsist between the two countries. Though we have a thousand years of civilization behind us, and Haiti only a century behind her; though we are large and Haiti is small; though we are strong and Haiti is weak; though we are a continent and Haiti is bounded on all sides by the sea, there may come a time when even in the weakness of Haiti there may be strength to the United States. Now, notwithstanding this plain possibility, it is a remarkable and lamentable fact, that while Haiti is so near us and so capable of being so serviceable to us; while, like us, she is trying to be a sister republic, and anxious to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people; while she is one of our very best customers, selling her coffee and her other valuable products to Europe for gold, and sending us her gold to buy our flour, our fish, our oil, our beef and our pork; while she is thus enriching our merchants and our farmers and our country generally, she is the one country to which we turn the cold shoulder. We charge her with being more friendly to France and to other European countries than to ourselves. This charge, if true, has a natural explanation, and the fault is more with us than with Haiti. No man can point to any act of ours to win the respect and friendship of this black republicâ•›.â•›.â•›. But a deeper reason for coolness between the countries is this: Haiti is black, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being black [applause] or forgiven the Almighty for making her black. [Applause.] In this enlightened act of repentance

204╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents and forgiveness, our boasted civilization is far behind all other nations. [Applause.] In every other country on the globe a citizen of Haiti is sure of civil treatment. [Applause.] In every other nation his manhood is recognized and respected. [Applause.] Wherever any man can go, he can go. [Applause.] He is not repulsed, excluded or insulted because of his color. [Applause.] All places of amusement and instruction are open to him. [Applause.] Vastly different is the case with him when he ventures within the border of the United States. [Applause.] Besides, after Haiti had shaken off the fetters of bondage, and long after her freedom and independence had been recognized by all other civilized nations, we continued to refuse to acknowledge the fact and treated her as outside the sisterhood of nations. No people would be likely soon to forget such treatment and fail to resent it in one form or another. [Applause.] Not to do so would justly invite contempt. In the nature of the country itself there is much to inspire its people with manliness, courage and self-Â�respect. In its typography it is wonderfully beautiful, grand and impressiveâ•›.â•›.â•›. Fortunate in its climate and soil, it is equally fortunate in its adaptation to commerce. Its shore line is marked with numerous indentations of inlets, rivers, bays and harbors, where every grade of vessel may anchor in safety. Bulwarked on either side by lofty mountains rich with tropical verdure from base to summit, its blue waters dotted here and there with the white wings of commerce from every land and sea, the Bay of Port au Prince almost rivals the far-Â�famed Bay of Naples, the most beautiful in the world. One of these bays has attracted the eyes of American statesmanship. The Môle St. Nicolas of which we have heard much and may hear much more, is a splendid harbor. It is properly styled the Gibraltar of that country. It commands the Windward Passage, the natural gateway of the commerce both of the new and old world. Important now, our statesmanship sees that it will be still more important when the Nicaragua Canal shall be completed. Hence we want this harbor for a naval station. It is seen that the nation that can get it and hold it will be master of the land and sea in its neighborhood. Some rash things have been said by Americans about getting possession of this harbor. [Applause.] We are to have it peaceably, if we can, forcibly, if we must. I hardly think we shall get it by either process, [Applause.] for the reason that Haiti will not surrender peacefully, and it would cost altogether too much to wrest it from her by force. [Applause.] I thought in my simplicity when Minister and Consul General to Haiti, that she might as an act of comity, make this concession to the United States, but I soon found that the judgment of the American Minister was not the judgment of Haiti. Until I made the effort to obtain it I did not know the strength and vigor of the sentiment by which it would be withheld. [Applause.] Haiti has no repugnance so deep-Â�seated and unconquerable as the repugnance to losing control over a single inch of her territory. [Applause.] No statesman in Haiti would dare to disregard this sentiment. It could not be done by any government without costing the country revolution and bloodshed. [Applause.]â•›.â•›.â•›.

Lecture on Haiti╇ •â•‡ 205 NO OTHER LAND HAS BRIGHTER SKIES. No other land has purer water, richer soil, or a more happily diversified climate. She has all the natural conditions essential to a noble, prosperous and happy country. [Applause.] Yet, there she is, torn and rent by revolutions, by clamorous factions and anarchies; floundering her life away from year to year in a labyrinth of social misery. Every little while we find her convulsed by civil war, engaged in the terrible work of death; frantically shedding her own blood and driving her best mental material into hopeless exile. Port au Prince, a city of sixty thousand souls, and capable of being made one of the healthiest, happiest and one of the most beautiful cities of the West Indies, has been destroyed by fire once in each twenty-Â�five years of its history. The explanation is this: Haiti is a country of revolutions. They break forth without warning and without excuse. The town may stand at sunset and vanish in the morning. Splendid ruins, once the homes of the rich, meet us on every street. Great warehouses, once the property of successful merchants, confront us with their marred and shattered walls in different parts of the city. When we ask: “Whence these mournful ruins?” and “Why are they not rebuilt?” we are answered by one word – a word of agony and dismal terror, a word which goes to the core of all this people’s woes; It is, “revolution!” Such are the uncertainties and insecurities caused by this revolutionary madness of a part of her people, that no insurance company will insure property at a rate which the holder can afford to pay. Under such a condition of things a tranquil mind is impossible. There is ever a chronic, feverish looking forward to possible disasters. Incendiary fires; fires set on foot as a proof of dissatisfaction with the government; fires for personal revenge, and fires to promote revolution are of startling frequency. This is sometimes thought to be due to the character of the race. Far from it. [Applause.] The common people of Haiti are peaceful enough. They have no taste for revolutions. The fault is not with the ignorant many, but with the educated and ambitious few. Too proud to work, and not disposed to go into commerce, they make politics a business and are forever plotting to get into their hands the large revenues of their country. Governed neither by love nor mercy for their country, they care not into what depths she may be plunged. No president, however virtuous, wise and patriotic, ever suits them when they themselves happen to be out of power. I wish I could say that these are the only conspirators against the peace of Haiti, but I cannot. They have allies in the United States. Recent developments have shown that even a former United States Minister resident and Consul General to that country has conspired against the present government of Haiti. It so happens that we have men in this country who, to accomplish their personal and selfish ends, will fan the flame of passion between the factions in Haiti and will otherwise assist in setting revolutions afoot. To their shame be it spoken, men in high American quarters have boasted to me of their ability to start a revolution in Haiti at pleasureâ•›.â•›.â•›. Manifestly, this revolutionary spirit of Haiti is her curse, her crime, her greatest calamity and the explanation of the limited condition of her civilization.

206╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents It makes her an object of distress to her friends at home and abroad. It reflects upon the colored race everywhere. Many who would have gladly believed in her ability to govern herself wisely and successfully are compelled at times to bow their heads in doubt and despair. Certain it is that while this evil spirit shall prevail, Haiti cannot rise very high in the scale of civilizationâ•›.â•›.â•›. From the beginning of our century until now, Haiti and its inhabitants, under one aspect or another, have, for various reasons, been very much in the thoughts of the American people. While slavery existed amongst us, her example was a sharp thorn in our side and a source of alarm and terror. She came into the sisterhood of nations through blood. She was described at the time of her advent, as a very hell of horrors. Her very name was pronounced with a shudder. She was a startling and frightful surprise and a threat to all slave-Â�holders throughout the world, and the slave-Â�holding world has had its questioning eye upon her career ever since. By reason of recent events and abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of the negro in our country, and the probable completion of the Nicaragua canal, Haiti has under another aspect, become, of late, interesting to American statesmen. More thought, more ink and paper have been devoted to her than to all the other West India Islands put together. This interest is both political and commercial, for Haiti is increasingly important in both respects. But aside from politics and aside from commerce, there is, perhaps, no equal number of people anywhere on the globe, in whose history, character and destiny there is more to awaken sentiment, thought and inquiry, than is found in the history of her people. The country itself, apart from its people, has special attractions. First things have ever had a peculiar and romantic interest, simply because they are first things. In this, Haiti is fortunate. She has in many things been first. She has been made the theatre of great events. She was the first of all the cis-Â�Atlantic world, upon which the firm foot of the progressive, aggressive and all-Â�conquering white man was permanently set. Her grand old tropical forests, fields and mountains, were among the first of the New World to have their silence broken by trans-Â� Atlantic song and speech. She was the first to be invaded by the Christian religion and to witness its forms and ordinances. She was the first to see a Christian church and to behold the cross of Christ. She was also the first to witness the bitter agonies of the negro bending under the blood-Â�stained lash of Christian slave-Â�holders. Happily too, for her, she was the first of the New World in which the black man asserted his right to be free and was brave enough to fight for his freedom and fortunate enough to gain itâ•›.â•›.â•›. Interesting as Haiti is in being the cradle in which American religion and civilization were first rocked, its present inhabitants are still more interesting as having been actors in great moral and social events. These have been scarcely less portentious and startling than the terrible earthquakes which have some times moved their mountains and shaken down their towns and cities. The conditions in which the Republican Government of Haiti originated, were peculiar. The great fact concerning its people, is, that they were negro slaves and by force conquered their masters and made themselves free and independent. As a people

Lecture on Haiti╇ •â•‡ 207 thus made free and having remained so for eighty-Â�seven years, they are now asked to justify their assumption of statehood at the bar of the civilized world by conduct becoming a civilized nation. The ethnologist observes them with curious eyes, and questions them on the ground of race. The statesman questions their ability to govern themselves; while the scholar and philanthropist are interested in their progress, their improvement and the question of their destiny. But, interesting as they are to all these and to others, the people of Haiti, by reason of ancestral identity, are more interesting to the colored people of the United States than to all others, for the Negro, like the Jew, can never part with his identity and race. Color does for the one what religion does for the other and makes both distinct from the rest of mankind. No matter where prosperity or misfortune may chance to drive the negro, he is identified with and shares the fortune of his race. We are told to go to Haiti; to go to Africa. Neither Haiti nor Africa can save us from a common doom. Whether we are here or there, we must rise or fall with the race. Hence, we can do about as much for Africa or Haiti by good conduct and success here as anywhere else in the world. The talk of bettering ourselves by getting rid of the white race, is a great mistake. It is about as idle for the black man to think of getting rid of the white man, as it is for the white man to think of getting rid of the black. They are just the two races which cannot be excluded from any part of the globe, nor can they exclude each other; so we might as well decide to live together here as to go elsewhere[.] Besides, for obvious reasons, until we can make ourselves respected in the United States, we shall not be respected in Haiti, Africa, or anywhere else. Of my regard and friendship for Haiti, I have already spoken. I have, too, already spoken somewhat of her faults, as well, for they are many and grievous. I shall, however, show before I get through, that, with all her faults, you and I and all of us have reason to respect Haiti for her services to the cause of liberty and human equality throughout the world, and for the noble qualities she exhibited in all the trying conditions of her early history. I have, since my return to the United States, been pressed on all sides to foretell what will be the future of Haiti – whether she will ever master and subdue the turbulent elements within her borders and become an orderly Republic. Whether she will maintain her liberty and independence, or, at last, part with both and become a subject of some one or another of the powerful nations of the world by which she seems to be coveted. The question still further is, whether she will fall away into anarchy, chaos and barbarism, or rise to the dignity and happiness of a highly civilized nation and be a credit to the colored race? I am free to say that I believe she will fulfill the latter condition and destinyâ•›.â•›.â•›. .â•›.â•›.â•›There are ebbs and flows in the tide of human affairs, and Haiti is no exception to this rule. There have been times in her history when she gave promise of great progress, and others, when she seemed to retrograde. We should view her in the broad light of her whole history, and observe well her conduct in the various vicissitudes through which she has passed. Upon such broad view I am sure Haiti will be vindicated.

208╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents It was once said by the great Daniel O’Connell, that the history of Ireland might be traced, like a wounded man through a crowd, by the blood. The same may be said of the history of Haiti as a free state. Her liberty was born in blood, cradled in misfortune, and has lived more or less in a storm of revolutionary turbulance. It is important to know how she behaved in these storms. As I view it, there is one great fundamental and soul-Â�cheering fact concerning her. It is this: Despite all the trying vicissitudes of her history, despite all the machinations of her enemies at home, in spite of all temptations from abroad, despite all her many destructive revolutions, she has remained true to herself, true to her autonomy, and still remains a free and independent state. No power on this broad earth has yet induced or seduced her to seek a foreign protector, or has compelled her to bow her proud neck to a foreign government. We talk of assuming protectorate over Haiti. We had better not attempt it. The success of such an enterprise is repelled by her whole history. She would rather abandon her ports and harbors, retire to her mountain fastnesses, or burn her towns and shed her warm, red, tropical blood over their ashes than to submit to the degradation of any foreign yoke, however friendly. In whatever may be the sources of her shame and misfortune, she has one source of great complacency; she lives proudly in the glory of her bravely won liberty and her blood bought independence, and no hostile foreign foot has been allowed to tread her sacred soil in peace from the hour of her independence until now. Her future autonomy is at least secure. Whether civilized or savage, whatever the future may have in store for her, Haiti is the black man’s country, now forever. [Applause.] In just vindication of Haiti, I can go one step further. I can speak of her, not only words of admiration, but words of gratitude as well. She has grandly served the cause of universal human liberty. We should not forget that the freedom you and I enjoy to-Â�day; that the freedom that eight hundred thousand colored people enjoy in the British West Indies; the freedom that has come to the colored race the world over, is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti ninety years ago. When they struck for freedom, they builded better than they knew. Their swords were not drawn and could not be drawn simply for themselves alone. They were linked and interlinked with their race, and striking for their freedom, they struck for the freedom of every black man in the world. [Prolonged applause.] It is said of ancient nations, that each had its special mission in the world and that each taught the world some important lesson. The Jews taught the world a religion, a sublime conception of the Deity. The Greeks taught the world philosophy and beauty. The Romans taught the world jurisprudence. England is foremost among the modern nations in commerce and manufactures. Germany has taught the world to think, while the American Republic is giving the world an example of a Government by the people, of the people and for the people. [Applause.] Among these large bodies, the little community of Haiti, anchored in the Caribbean Sea, has had her mission in the world, and a mission which the world had much need to learn. She has taught the world the danger of slavery

Lecture on Haiti╇ •â•‡ 209 and the value of liberty. In this respect she has been the greatest of all our modern teachers. Speaking for the Negro, I can say, we owe much to Walker for his appeal; to John Brown [applause] for the blow struck at Harper’s Ferry, to Lundy and Garrison for their advocacy [applause], and to the abolitionists in all the countries of the world [Applause.] We owe much especially to Thomas Clarkson, [applause], to William Wilberforce, to Thomas Fowell Buxton, and to the anti-Â� slavery societies at home and abroad; but we owe incomparably more to Haiti than to them all. [Prolonged applause.] I regard her as the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century. [Applause.] It was her one brave example that first of all startled the Christian world into a sense of the Negro’s manhood. It was she who first awoke the Christian world to a sense of “the danger of goading too far the energy that slumbers in a black man’s arm.” [Applause.] Until Haiti struck for freedom, the conscience of the Christian world slept profoundly over slavery. It was scarcely troubled even by a dream of this crime against justice and liberty. The Negro was in its estimation a sheep like creature, having no rights which white men were bound to respect, a docile animal, a kind of ass, capable of bearing burdens, and receiving stripes from a white master without resentment, and without resistance. The mission of Haiti was to dispel this degradation and dangerous delusion, and to give to the world a new and true revelation of the black man’s character. This mission she has performed and performed it well. [Applause.] Until she spoke no christian nation had abolished negro slavery. Until she spoke no christian nation had given to the world an organized effort to abolish slavery. Until she spoke the slave ship, followed by hungry sharks, greedy to devour the dead and dying slaves flung overboard to feed them, ploughed in peace the South Atlantic painting the sea with the Negro’s blood. Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our land of liberty and light included. Men made fortunes by this infernal traffic, and were esteemed as good Christians, and the standing types and representations of the Saviour of the World. Until Haiti spoke, the church was silent, and the pulpit was dumb. Slave-Â�traders lived and slave-Â�traders died. Funeral sermons were preached over them, and of them it was said that they died in the triumphs of the christian faith and went to heaven among the just. To have any just conception or measurement of the intelligence, solidarity and manly courage of the people of Haiti when under the lead of Toussaint L’Ouverture, [prolonged applause] and the dauntless Dessalines, you must remember what the conditions were by which they were surrounded; that all the neighboring islands were slaveholding, and that to no one of all these islands could she look for sympathy, support and co-Â�operation. She trod the wine press alone. Her hand was against the Christian world, and the hand of the Christian world was against her. Her’s was a forlorn hope, and she knew that she must do or die. In Greek or Roman history nobler daring cannot be found. It will ever be a matter of wonder and astonishment to thoughtful men, that a people in abject

210╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents slavery, subject to the lash, and kept in ignorance of letters, as these slaves were, should have known enough, or have had left in them enough manhood, to combine, to organize, and to select for themselves trusted leaders and with loyal hearts to follow them into the jaws of death to obtain liberty. [Applause.] In forecasting the future of this people, then, I insist that some importance shall be given to this and to another grand initial fact: that the freedom of Haiti was not given as a boon, but conquered as a right! [Applause.] Her people fought for it. They suffered for it, and thousands of them endured the most horrible tortures, and perished for it. It is well said that a people to whom freedom is given can never wear it as grandly as can they who have fought and suffered to gain it. Here, as elsewhere, what comes easily, is liable to go easily. But what man will fight to gain, that, man will fight to maintain. To this test Haiti was early subjected, and she stood this test like pure gold. [Applause.] To re-Â�enslave her brave self-Â�emancipated sons of liberty, France sent in round numbers, to Haiti during the years 1802–1803, 50,000 of her veteran troops, commanded by her most experienced and skillful generals. History tells us what became of these brave and skillful warriors from France. It shows that they shared the fate of Pharaoh and his hosts. Negro manhood, Negro bravery, Negro military genius and skill, assisted by yellow fever and pestilence made short work of them. The souls of them by thousands were speedily sent into eternity, and their bones were scattered on the mountains of Haiti, there to bleach, burn and vanish under the fierce tropical sun. Since 1804 Haiti has maintained national independence. [Applause.] I fling these facts at the feet of the detractors of the Negro and of Haiti. They may help them to solve the problem of her future. They not only indicate the Negro’s courage, but demonstrate his intelligence as well. [Applause.] No better test of the intelligence of people can be had than is furnished in their laws, their institutions and their great men. To produce these in any considerable degree of perfection, a high order of ability is always required. Haiti has no cause to shrink from this test or from any other. Human greatness is classified in three divisions: first, greatness of administration; second, greatness of organization; and the third, greatness of discovery, the latter being the highest order of human greatness. In all three of these divisions, Haiti appears to advantage. Her Toussaint L’Ouvertures, her Dessalines, her Christophes, her Petions, her Reguad and others, their enemies being judges, were men of decided ability. [Applause.] They were great in all the three departments of human greatness. Let any man in our highly favored country, undertake to organize an army of raw recruits, and especially let any colored man undertake to organize men of his own color, and subject them to military discipline, and he will at once see the hard task that Haiti had on hand, in resisting France and slavery, and be led to admire the ability and character displayed by her sons in making and managing her armies and achieving her freedom. [Applause.] But Haiti did more than raise armies and discipline troops. She organized a

Lecture on Haiti╇ •â•‡ 211 Government and maintained a Government during eighty-Â�seven years. Though she has been ever and anon swept by whirlwinds of lawless turbulence; though she has been shaken by earthquakes of anarchy at home, and has encountered the chilling blasts of prejudice and hate from the outside world, though she has been assailed by fire and sword, from without and within, she has, through all the machinations of her enemies, maintained a well defined civil government, and maintains it to-Â�day. [Applause.]â•›.â•›.â•›. EVEN HER REVOLUTIONS are less sanguinary and ruthless now, than formerly. They have in many cases been attended with great disregard of private rights, with destruction of property and the commission of other crimes, but nothing of the kind was permitted to occur in the revolution by which President Hyppolite, was raised to power. He was inaugurated in a manner as orderly as that of inducting into office any President of the United States. [Applause.]â•›.â•›.â•›. IT SHOULD ALSO BE REMEMBERED THAT HAITI IS STILL IN HER CHILDHOOD. Give her time! Give her time!! While eighty years may be a good old age for a man, it can only be as a year in the life of a nation. With a people beginning a national life as Haiti did, with such crude material within, and such antagonistic forces operating upon her from without, the marvel is, not that she is far in the rear of civilization, but that she has survived in any sense as a civilized nation. THOUGH SHE IS STILL AN INFANT, she is out of the arms of her mother. Though she creeps, rather than walks; stumbles often and sometimes falls, her head is not broken, and she still lives and grows, and I predict, will yet be tall and strong. Her wealth is greater, her population is larger, her credit is higher, her currency is sounder, her progress is surer, her statesmen are abler, her patriotism is nobler, and her government is steadier and firmer than twenty years ago. I predict that out of civil strife, revolution and war, there will come a desire for peace. Out of division will come a desire for union; out of weakness a desire for strength, out of ignorance a desire for knowledge, and out of stagnation will come a desire for progress. [Applause.] Already I find in her a longing for peace. Already she feels that she has had enough and more than enough of war. Already she perceives the need of education, and is providing means to obtain it on a large scale. Already she has added five hundred schools to her forces of education, within the two years of Hyppolite’s administration. [Applause.] In the face of such facts; in the face of the fact that Haiti still lives, after being boycotted by all the Christian world; in the face of the fact of her known progress within the last twenty years[,] in the face of the fact that she has attached herself to the car of the world’s civilization, I will not, I cannot believe that her star is to go out in darkness, but I will rather believe that whatever may happen of peace or war Haiti will remain in the firmament of nations, and, like the star of the north, will shine on and shine on forever. [Prolonged applause.]

212╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents “The Same” Langston Hughes, 1932 Langston Hughes (1902–1967), born in Joplin, Missouri, was raised in Kansas, Illinois, and Ohio by his grandmother and his mother. Shortly after graduating from high school, he became known through the publication of his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1921 in the NAACP magazine the Crisis. After attending Columbia for a year, Hughes worked on ships traveling to Africa and Europe and continued to write poems that established him as a major voice, including the award-Â�winning “The Weary Blues.” Returning to the United States, he attended Lincoln University, graduating in 1929. Influenced by socialism, Hughes used his writings to oppose segregation and argue for civil rights and to portray the emotions and experiences of black life. He wrote political poetry for the Communist journal New Masses and was subpoenaed by Joseph McCarthy’s Senate subcommittee in 1953. His extensive body of works includes essays, short stories, an autobiography, plays, and a column in the Chicago Defender. Hughes traveled extensively in the 1930s to countries such as Haiti, Cuba, and the Soviet Union and wrote some of his most political poetry during this period. His view that the revolutionary struggles of people of color worldwide such as those fought by the Haitians were linked is expressed in the following poem, first published in the Negro Worker, the periodical of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers. It is the same everywhere for me: On the docks at Sierra Leone, In the cotton fields of Alabama, In the diamond mines of Kimberley, On the coffee hills of Haiti, The banana lands of Central America, The streets of Harlem, And the cities of Morocco and Tripoli. Black: Exploited, beaten, and robbed, Shot and killed. Blood running into Dollars

Reprinted from The Negro Worker, September/October 1932: 31–2. “Always the Same,” from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersand with David Roessel, Associate Editor, Knopf, 1994, copyright © 1994 by the Estate of Langston Hughes. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. [Alternate title in Knopf edition.] Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated.

“The Same”╇ •â•‡ 213 Pounds Francs Pesetas Lire For the wealth of the exploiters – Blood that never comes back to me again. Better that my blood Runs into the deep channels of Revolution, Runs into the strong hands of Revolution, Stains all flags red, Drives me away from Sierra Leone Kimberley Alabama Haiti Central America Harlem Morocco Tripoli And all the black lands everywhere The force that kills, The power that robs, And the greed that does not care. Better that my blood makes one with the blood Of all the struggling workers in the world – Till every land is free of Dollar Robbers Pound Robbers Franc Robbers Peseta Robbers Lire Robbers Life Robbers – Until the Red Armies of the International Proletariat Their faces, black, white, olive, yellow, brown, Unite to raise the blood Red Flag that Never will come down!

214╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents From A History of Pan-Â�African Revolt C. L. R. James, 1938 [1969] Cyril Lionel Robert James (1901–1989) was born and educated in Trinidad, where he taught at Queen’s Royal College and wrote and edited literary pieces with political themes. He went to England in 1932, where he covered (and critiqued) the sport of cricket for the Manchester Guardian and authored works in various genres (essays, history, fiction, autobiography), focusing particularly on Caribbean independence and Africa. He was involved in socialist and Marxist politics and became a leading proponent of pan-Â�Africanism. In 1938, James traveled to the United States, where in the 1940s he joined the newly formed Worker’s Party and promoted it among African American workers. In 1952, during the McCarthy era, he was detained by US immigration authorities, interned at Ellis Island, and forced to leave in 1953. For the remainder of his life, he lived in England, Trinidad, and – after he was permitted to return in 1968 – the United States, where he lectured and taught at various colleges. Haiti, particularly its revolutionary history, was for James a rich terrain for examining pan-Â�Africanism, black nationalism, and militant action on the part of the oppressed. He explored the subject in various works, including the 1936 play Toussaint L’Ouverture; his 1938 classic history of the revolution, The Black Jacobins; and the following chapter from A History of Negro Revolt, reissued as A History of Pan-Â�African Revolt in 1969, his pioneering work on black independence struggles. San Domingo The history of the Negro in his relation to European civilization falls into two divisions, the Negro in Africa and the Negro in America and the West Indies. Up to the ’eighties of the last century, only one-Â�tenth of Africa was in the hands of Europeans. Until that time, therefore, it is the attempt of the Negro in the Western World to free himself from his burdens which has political significance in Western history. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century European civilization turned again to Africa, this time not for slaves to work the plantations of America but for actual control of territory and population. Today [1938] the position of Africans in Africa is one of the major problems of contemporary politics. An attempt is made here to give some account and analysis of Negro revolts through the centuries; in the days of slavery; in Africa during the last half-Â� century; and in America and the West Indies to-Â�day. It is impossible in this space to deal with the slave-Â�trade and slavery; the same consideration has made it necessary to omit accounts of the early revolts in the Reprinted from A History of Pan-Â�African Revolt by C. L. R. James, with an introduction by Robin D. G. Kelley, copyright © 1995 Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. Used by permission of the Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. [The Kerr edition notes that the publisher has Americanized James’s spelling.]

History of Pan-African Revolt╇ •â•‡ 215 West Indies and the incessant guerilla warfare carried on in all the islands by the maroons (or runaway slaves) against their former masters. Negroes have continually revolted and once in Dutch Guiana the revolting slaves held almost the entire colony for months. But in the eighteenth century the greatest colony in the West Indies was French San Domingo (now Haiti) and there took place the most famous of all Negro revolts. It forms a useful starting point. 1789 is a landmark in the history of Negro revolt in the West Indies. The only successful Negro revolt, the only successful slave revolt in history, had its roots in the French Revolution, and without the French Revolution its success would have been impossible. During the eighteenth century French San Domingo developed a fabulous prosperity and by 1789 was taking 40,000 slaves a year. In 1789 the total foreign trade of Britain was twenty-Â�seven million pounds, of which the colonial trade accounted for only five million pounds. The total foreign trade of France was seventeen million pounds, of which San Domingo alone was responsible for eleven millions. “Sad irony of human history,” comments Juarès, “the fortunes created at Bordeaux, at Nantes, by the slave-Â�trade gave to the bourgeoisie that pride which needed liberty and contributed to human emancipation.” But the colonial system of the eighteenth century ordained that whatever manufactured goods the colonists needed could be bought only in France. They could sell their produce only to France. The goods were to be transported only in French ships. Colonial planters and the Home Government were thus in bitter and constant conflict, the very conflict which had resulted in the American War of Independence. The American colonists gained their freedom in 1783, and in less than five years the British attitude to the slave-Â�trade changed. Previous to 1783 they had been the most successful practitioners of the slave-Â� trade in the world. But now not only was America gone, but it was British ships which were supplying a large proportion of the 40,000 slaves a year which were the basis of San Domingo’s prosperity. The trade of San Domingo almost doubled between 1783 and 1789. The British West Indian colonies were in comparison poor, and with the loss of America, were of diminishing importance. The monopoly of the West Indian sugar planters galled the rising industrial bourgeoisie, potential free-Â�traders. Adam Smith and Arthur Young, economists of the coming industrial age, condemned the expensiveness of slave labor. India offered the example of a country where the laborer cost only a penny a day, did not have to be bought, and did not brand his master as a slave-Â�owner. In 1787 the Abolitionist Society was formed and the British Government, which only a few years before had threatened to sack a Governor of Jamaica if he tampered with the slave-Â�trade in any shape or form, now changed its mind. If the slave-Â� trade was brought to a sudden close, San Domingo would be ruined. The British islands would lose nothing, for they had as many slaves as they seemed likely to need. The abolitionists it is true worked very hard, and Clarkson, for instance, was a very honest and sincere man. Many people were moved by their propaganda. But that a considerable and influential section of British men of

216╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents business thought that the slave-Â�trade was not only a blot on the national name but a growing hole in the national pocket, was the point that mattered. The evidence for this is given in detail in the writer’s Black Jacobins published in 1938 with a revised edition in 1963. The Abolitionist Society was formed in 1787. France at that time was stirring with the revolution, and the French humanitarians formed a parallel society, “The Friends of the Negro.” They preached the abolition not only of the slave-Â� trade but of slavery as well, and Brissot, Mirabeau, Condorcet, Robespierre, many of the great names of the revolution, were among the members. They ignored or minimized the fact that, unlike Britain, two-Â�thirds of France’s overseas trade was bound up with the traffic. Wilberforce and Clarkson encouraged them, gave the society money, and did active propaganda in France. This was the position in Europe when the French Revolution began. San Domingo possessed at that time 500,000 slaves, and only 30,000 Mulattoes and about the same number of whites. But the slave-Â�owners of San Domingo at once embraced the revolution, and as each section interpreted liberty, equality and fraternity to suit itself, civil war was soon raging between them. Some of the rich whites, especially those who owed debts to French merchants, wanted to follow the example of America and virtually rule themselves. The Mulattoes wanted to be rid of their disabilities, the poor whites wanted to become masters and officials like the rich whites. These classes fought fiercely with one another. The white colonists lynched and murdered Mulattoes for daring to claim equality. But the whites themselves were divided into royalists and revolutionaries. The French revolutionary legislatures first of all evaded the question of Mulatto rights, then gave some of the Mulattoes rights, then took the rights away again. Mulattoes and whites fought, and under the stress of necessity began to arm their slaves. The news from France, the slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, the political excitement in San Domingo, the civil war between rich whites, poor whites, and Mulattoes, it was these things which after two years awoke the sleeping slaves to revolution. By July, 1791, in the thickly populated North they were planning a rising. The slaves worked on the land, and, like revolutionary peasants everywhere, they aimed at the extermination of their masters. But, working and living together in gangs of hundreds on the huge sugar-Â�factories which covered the North Plain, they were closer to a modern proletariat than any group of workers in existence at that time, and the rising was, therefore, a thoroughly prepared and organized mass movement. On a night in August a tropical storm raged, with lightning and gusts of wind and heavy showers of rain. Carrying torches to light their way, the leaders of the revolt met in an open space in the thick forests of the Morne Rouge, a mountain overlooking Cap François, the largest town. There Boukman, the leader, after Voodoo incantations and the sucking of the blood of a stuck pig, gave the last instructions. That very night they began. Each slave-Â�gang murdered its masters and burnt the plantation to the ground. The slaves destroyed tirelessly. They knew that as

History of Pan-African Revolt╇ •â•‡ 217 long as those plantations stood, their lot would be to labor on them until they dropped. They violated all the women who fell into their hands, often on the bodies of their still bleeding husbands, fathers and brothers. But they did not maintain this vengeful spirit for long. As the revolution gained territory they spared many of the men, women and children whom they surprised on plantations. To prisoners of war alone they remained merciless. They tore out their flesh with red-Â�hot pincers, they roasted them on slow fires, they sawed a carpenter between his boards. Yet on the whole, they never approached in their tortures the savageries to which they themselves had been subjected. The white planters refused to take the slave revolt seriously. They continued to intrigue against the Mulattoes and to threaten the French Government. But as the chaos grew, the rich royalists swallowed their color prejudice and united with the Mulattoes against the revolutionary planters. Meanwhile the insurrection prospered, until a few weeks after it began there were about a hundred thousand revolting slaves divided into large bands. The leaders were Jean-Â�François and Biassou, and Toussaint L’Ouverture joined them a month after the revolt began. He was forty-Â�six, first his master’s coachman and afterward, owing to his intelligence, placed in charge of the livestock on the estate, a post usually held by a white man. He had a smattering of education, but he could not write correct French, and usually spoke creole i.e. the local French patois. Baffled in their first spring at the city, these leaders did not know what to do, and when the French Government sent Commissioners who boasted of the armed forces (quite imaginary) which were on their way, the Negro leaders sought to betray their followers. They wrote to the Commissioners promising that in return for the freedom of a few hundred they would cooperate in leading the others back into slavery and would join in hunting down the recalcitrant. Toussaint, in charge of the negotiations, reduced the offer from 400 to 60. The French Commissioners gladly accepted, but the white planters with great scorn refused. Toussaint therefore gave up hopes of even a treacherous solution and began to train a small band of soldiers from among the hordes. The French legislature was by this time under the leadership of Brissot and the Girondins. These managed to persuade the colonial interests that it was to their advantage to give all rights to the Mulattoes, and in April 1792, this became law. But Brissot, doughty propagandist for abolition before he came to power, now would not go a step further than rights for Mulattoes. Far from abolishing slavery, he and his government dispatched a force to crush the slave revolt. These troops landed in San Domingo, but before they could begin the attack, events had occurred in Paris which altered the whole course of the French Revolution, and with it, the Black revolution in San Domingo. On August 10, 1792, the Paris masses, tired of the equivocations and indecision of the Parliamentarians, stormed the Tuileries and dragged the Bourbons off the throne. A wave of enthusiasm for liberty swept over France and from indifference to slavery at the beginning of the revolution, revolutionary France now hated no section of the aristocracy so much as the colonial whites,

218╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents “the aristocrats of the skin.” In San Domingo the news of August 10 so split the slave-Â�owners that the civil war between them which had ended began again. Every conflict among the slave-Â�owners was a source of added strength to the slaves. By February 1793 war had broken out between revolutionary France and England and Spain. The Spaniards in Spanish San Domingo from the start had helped the slaves against the French. Now they offered them a formal alliance and the slaves trooped over to join Spain. Whether France was a republic or reactionary monarchy, made no difference to the colonial slave if each was prepared to keep him in slavery. Toussaint L’Ouverture went with the others but he secretly offered to the French the services of his trained band if they would abolish slavery. They refused. He made a similar offer to the Spanish commander who likewise refused. Toussaint decided to stay where he was and watch developments. Sonthonax, the French Commissioner, at his wits’ end, threatened by Britain and Spain and increasingly deserted by the French Blacks, abolished slavery as his last chance of gaining some support. His maneuver failed. Toussaint remained with the Spaniards and won most of the North Province for them. For the planters, abolition was the last straw and they offered the colony to Pitt, who dispatched an expedition from Europe to capture the French colonies in the West Indies. The British carried all before them, and by June 1794 over two-Â� thirds of San Domingo and almost every French island of importance were in the hands of the British. The rest seemed only a matter of days. But meanwhile the revolution had been rising in France. Before the end of 1793 Brissot had been swept out of power. Robespierre and the Mountain ruled and led the revolution against its enemies at home and abroad. By this time all revolutionary France had embraced the cause of the slaves, many refusing even to touch coffee as being drenched with the blood of their own human kind. On February 4, 1794, the Convention abolished slavery without a debate. “The English are beaten,” shouted Danton. “Pitt and his plots are riddled.” The great master of revolutionary tactics had seen far. The British fleet prevented assistance going to the hardpressed colored revolution but the decree of abolition would throw the Blacks wholeheartedly on the side of the French. Toussaint joined the French at once, and slaughtered his Spanish allies, white and Black, of yesterday; while in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and the other French colonies, the Black slaves, singing the Ça Ira and the Marseillaise and dressed in the colors of the Republic, began to drive the British out of the French islands, and then carried the war into British territory. Spain made peace, in 1795, and by 1799 the British had been driven out of San Domingo and most of the French colonies by Negro slaves and Mulattoes. Fortescue, the Tory historian of the British army, gives a vivid account of this colossal disaster. Britain lost 100,000 men in the West Indies in these four years, two and a half times as many as Wellington lost in the whole of the Peninsular War. Fever took a heavy toll, but Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Rigaud, a Mulatto, in San Domingo; and Victor Hugues, a Mulatto, in Martinique and the smaller

History of Pan-African Revolt╇ •â•‡ 219 islands, won one of the most important victories in the French revolutionary wars. Aided by the fever, they, in Fortescue’s phrase, “practically destroyed the British army.” For six years, Britain was tied up in the West Indies, and to quote Fortescue once more, if Britain played so insignificant a part in the attack on revolutionary France in Europe during the first six years of the war, the answer is to be found in “the two fatal words, San Domingo.” The part played by the Blacks in the success of the great French Revolution has never received adequate recognition. The revolution in Europe will neglect colored workers at its peril. With the British driven out, L’Ouverture occupied a powerful position. He was Commander-Â�in-Chief, appointed by the French Government, of a French army, with white officers under him. But as soon as the British were driven out, the French started to intrigue against him. They engineered a quarrel between himself and Rigaud, the Mulatto, whence was fought a bitter civil war. Toussaint was victorious, then brought Spanish San Domingo under his control. He established a strong government over the whole island, drew up a constitution which made him First Consul for life, and gave San Domingo “dominion status”; concentrating all the power in his own hands, he governed. In eighteen months he had restored a colony, devastated by years of civil war, to two-Â�thirds of its former prosperity. He was a despot, confining his laborers to the plantations and brooking no interference with his will under harsh penalties. But he protected the laborers from the injustices of their former owners. He saw that they were paid their wages. He established free trade and religious toleration, abolished racial discrimination, tried to lay the foundations of an educational system, sent young Mulattoes and Negroes to France to be educated so as to return and be able to govern. He treated the whites with exceptional consideration and courtesy, so much so that the Black laborers began to lose confidence in him. Too confident of his influence over the Blacks, he sacrificed his popularity to please the French. But the political situation in France had changed for the worse. The revolution had stabilized itself under Bonaparte. And Bonaparte sought to restore slavery. He sent an expedition under his brother-Â�in-law Leclerc which finally amounted to nearly 60,000 men. Toussaint vacillated at first, then fought and finally came to terms. Captured by a trick he was sent to France, and died in an Alpine prison. But as soon as Bonaparte’s plans for the restoration of slavery and all the discriminations of the old regime became known, the population, which had been partially deceived by Leclerc’s false proclamations, revolted. Dessalines, one of Toussaint’s lieutenants, had by this time seen what Toussaint never saw, that only independence could guarantee freedom. The Mulattoes, who had previously supported Bonaparte, joined the Blacks, and together they fought a desperate war of independence. To win they had almost to destroy the island. France, from casualties in battle and fever, suffered the loss of over 50,000 men. The cruelties practiced by the French during the last stages of the civil war exceeded in barbarism the worst of the old slavery days. Dessalines, uncultured and lacking Toussaint’s genius, led his people with a ruthlessness quite equal to that of the French.

220╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents The attitude of the whites toward changes in the San Domingo regime throws a valuable light on race prejudice. Before the revolution Negroes were so despised that white women undressed before them as one undresses today before a dog or a cat. Ten years after, when former slaves were now ruling the country, most of the whites accepted the new regime, fraternized with the ex-Â�slave generals and dined at their tables; while the white women, members of some of the proudest families of the French aristocracy, threw themselves recklessly at the Black dictator, sent him locks of hair, keepsakes, passionate letters, etc. To the laboring Negroes, however, they showed as much of their old hostility as they dared. When the Leclerc expedition came, the whites rushed to join it, and took a leading part in the gladiatorial shows where dogs ate living Negroes, etc. But when they saw that Leclerc’s expedition was doomed to defeat, they disentangled themselves from it and turned again to the Blacks. Dessalines, the new dictator, declared the island independent, but promised them their properties. This was enough for them. When the French commanders were about to evacuate the island they offered the white colonists places on the boats. The colonists refused, being quite content to continue living under Blacks who were no longer French even in allegiance: the San Domingo Blacks gave their island its old Carib name, Haiti, to emphasize the break with France. But the British and the Americans, themselves the greatest slave-Â�holders in the world, were all for the victory of the Blacks in order to drive out the French. All through Leclerc’s campaign the British and American newspapers cursed the French and praised Toussaint and the Blacks. That Frenchmen should remain in the island did not suit them. While Dessalines, who hated the whites for their accumulated treacheries, wanted to kill as many as possible, Christophe and Clairveaux, his two trusted lieutenants, disapproved, and the great bulk of the people wanted no more bloodshed. But Cathcart, an English agent in San Domingo, told Dessalines that the British would neither trade with him nor accord him their protection unless every Frenchman were killed. Not long after the French were massacred. M. Camille Guy tells the story and gives his original sources in pamphlet No. 3 of the Bulletin de geographie, published in Paris in 1898. There too he gives details of the presents that were sent to Dessalines for his coronation from London in a British cruiser and from America. Needless to say, in most books on this subject, Black Dessalines bears the sole responsibility for this massacre. The success of the San Domingo Blacks killed the West Indian slave-Â�trade and slavery. France hoped for many years that she would regain the colony. The Haitians let her know that they would resist to the last man and burn everything to the ground. France therefore resigned herself to the loss and with the removal of San Domingo from the West Indian trade, abolition of the slave-Â�trade in 1807 and of slavery in 1834 followed. The English planters fought hard but history was against them. The revolution in France in 1848, during its short-Â�lived span of success, abolished slavery in the French colonies. The San Domingo revolution is the only successful Negro revolt, and therefore

History of Pan-African Revolt╇ •â•‡ 221 the reasons for that success must be noted. First the Blacks themselves fought magnificently and glowing tributes have been paid to them by their opponents. But many had fought well before and have fought well since. They were fortunate in that they had time to organize themselves as soldiers. And this was due to the fact that they not only received inspiration from the revolution in France but between 1794 and 1797 had active support from revolutionary France. Such supplies and reinforcements as did actually arrive were comparatively small, but were directed toward assisting and not retarding the slave revolution. This was the decisive factor. The international situation also helped them. But the conflict between Britain and France, then between France on the one hand and Spain on the other was also the result of the revolution. During the last campaign, at a very critical moment, the declaration of war between France and Britain, after the short interval which followed the Treaty of Amiens, made the victory of the San Domingo Blacks inevitable. But the Blacks maneuvered with great skill. The Spaniards, and in the later stages after their defeat, the British, both offered terms to the Blacks with the secret intention of turning upon them afterward and restoring slavery. Maitland, the British general, say so very clearly in his letter to the Foreign Secretary, Dundas, dated December 26, 1798, and preserved in the Public Record Office. But Toussaint never compromised himself with the British. While taking from them as much assistance as was convenient, he refused any entangling alliances. He thus made the most skillful use of imperialist contradictions when revolutionary France, crushed, was no longer able to assist him. There remains to be noted a certain aspect of the struggle which though derivative is yet of extreme importance. During the revolutionary period the Blacks fought under the slogans of liberty and equality. They embraced the revolutionary doctrine, they thought in republican terms. The result was that these slaves, lacking education, half-Â�savage, and degraded in their slavery as only centuries of slavery can degrade, achieved a liberality in social aspiration and an elevation of political thought equivalent to anything similar that took place in France. Hundreds of Toussaint’s letters, proclamations, etc., are preserved, some in the national archives in France, others in San Domingo. Papers of contemporary Blacks and Mulattoes also exist. Christophe and Dessalines, who shared the leadership with Toussaint, were quite illiterate, slaves sprung from the ranks. But they and their fellow officers not only acted but spoke and dictated like highly-Â�trained modern revolutionaries. Some examples should be given. All the Blacks did not join the French. Some remained with the Spanish rulers of Spanish San Domingo. The leader of these, full of racial pride, rejected the overtures of the French and told Laveaux, the French Commander, that he would only believe in his pretended equality when he saw Monsieur Laveaux and gentlemen of his quality giving their daughters in marriage to Negroes. But the Blacks who were republican had the utmost scorn for the Blacks who were royalist. Witness the following proclamation in reply to overtures made on behalf of the Spanish authorities by the Blacks who supported royalism.

222╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents We are republicans and, in consequence, free by natural right. It can only be Kings whose very name expresses what is most vile and low, who dared to arrogate the right of reducing to slavery men made like themselves, whom nature had made free. The King of Spain furnishes you abundantly with arms and ammunition. Use them to tighten your chains.â•›.â•›.â•›. As for us, we have no need for more than stones and sticks to make you dance the Carmagnoleâ•›.â•›.â•›. You have received commissions and you have guarantees. Guard your liveries and your parchments. One day they will serve you as the fastidious titles of our former aristocrats served them. If the King of the French who drags his misery from court to court has need of slaves to assist him in his magnificence, let him go seek it among other Kings who count as many slaves as they have subjects. When Toussaint L’Ouverture began to suspect in 1797 that the French Government was now the representative of forces which might ultimately aim at the restoration of slavery, he addressed to them a letter which seems to come straight from the pen of Mirabeau, Danton or Robespierre, instead of from a slave who dictated in the local patois and then had his thoughts written and rewritten until his secretaries had achieved the form which he desired. Do they think that men who have been able to enjoy the blessing of liberty will calmly see it snatched away? They supported their chains only so long as they did not know any condition of life more happy than that of slavery. But today when they have left it, if they had a thousand lives they would sacrifice them all rather than be forced into slavery again. But no, the same hand which has broken our chains will not enslave us anew. France will not revoke her principles, she will not withdraw from us the greatest of her benefits. She will protect us from all our enemies; she will not permit her sublime morality to be perverted, those principles which do her most honor to be destroyed, her most beautiful achievement to be degraded, her Decree of the 16th Pluviôse which so honors humanity to be revoked. But if, to re-Â�establish slavery in San Domingo, this was done, then I declare to you it would be to attempt the impossible: we have known how to face dangers to obtain our liberty, we shall know how to brave death to maintain it. (Italics his own) This, Citizen Directors, is the morale of the people of San Domingo, those are the principles that they transmit to you by me. My own you know. It is sufficient to renew, my hand in yours, the oath that I have made, to cease to live before gratitude dies in my heart, before I cease to be faithful to France and to my duty, before the god of liberty is profaned and sullied by the liberticides, before they can snatch from my hands that sword, those arms, which France confided to me “for the defense of its rights and those of humanity, for the triumph of liberty and equality.”

“Mister Toussan”╇ •â•‡ 223 Race prejudice was rampant before the revolution and Blacks and Mulattoes hated each other as much as did the Blacks and whites. Yet by 1799 when the civil war was about to begin between the Blacks of the North and West and the Mulattoes of the South, a civil war based on the different social interests of the two classes, Rigaud the Mulatto leader, instead of emphasizing the difference in color as Mulattoes always did before the revolution, now defended himself with moving passion against the conception that he was hostile to Toussaint, the Commander-Â�in-Chief, because Toussaint was a Negro. Indeed, if I had reached the stage where I would not wish to obey a black, if I had the stupid presumption to believe that I am above such obedience, on what grounds could I claim obedience from the whites? What a grievous example would I be giving to those placed under my orders? Besides, is there so great a difference between the color of the Commander-Â�in-Chief and mine? Is it a tint of color, more or less dark, which instils principles of philosophy or gives merit to an individual? .â•›.â•›. I have consecrated my life to the defence of the blacks. From the beginning of the revolution I have braved all for the cause of liberty. I have not betrayed my principles and I shall never do so. Besides, I am too much a believer in the Rights of Man to think that there is one color in nature superior to another. I know a man only as a man. The revolution under the encouragement of the French revolutionaries seemed to have created a new nation. The great tragedy of San Domingo was that as the revolution in France retreated before reaction, the old slave-Â�owners regained influence and harassed the exhausted Blacks.

“Mister Toussan” Ralph Ellison, 1941 Ralph Ellison (1914–1994) was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and educated in the segregated public schools there, where he excelled in music, subsequently attending Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In 1936, he moved to New York and became involved with the black literary community there that included Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; his first published writing appeared in the latter’s New Challenge. Ellison worked for the Federal Writers Project in the late 1930s, a job that made him familiar with the folklore and oral histories of previous generations of African Americans and introduced him to inspiring examples of black resistance in Originally published in New Masses, November 4, 1941. Reprinted from “Mister Toussan,” in Flying Home and Other Stories, by Ralph Ellison, copyright © 1996 by Fanny Ellison. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Copyright © 1996 Ralph Ellison. Originally published by Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC on behalf of the Author.

224╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents history, such as New York’s 1741 slave rebellion. Ellison’s writings include essays on folklore, African American history, and other topics; short stories; and the profoundly influential novel Invisible Man, published in 1952. Sympathetic to and associated with many Communists, he was supportive of the struggles for freedom of people of color throughout the world. Ellison was deeply interested in the history and representation of black resistance. The following short story published in the journal New Masses suggests the inspiration and enduring resonance of the Haitian Revolution as interpreted by two young black boys, Buster and Riley, characters who appear in various stories by Ellison. Once upon a time The goose drink wine Monkey chew tobacco And he spit white lime — Rhyme used as a prologue to Negro slave stories “I hope they all gits rotten and the worms git in ’em,” the first boy said. “I hopes a big wind storm comes and blows down all the trees,” said the second boy. “Me too,” the first boy said. “And when ole Rogan comes out to see what happened I hope a tree falls on his head and kills him.” “Now jus look a-Â�yonder at them birds,” the second boy said. “They eating all they want and when we asked him to let us git some off the ground he had to come calling us little nigguhs and chasing us home!” “Doggonit,” said the second boy. “I hope them birds got poison in they feet!” The two small boys, Riley and Buster, sat on the floor of the porch, their bare feet resting upon the cool earth as they stared past the line on the paving where the sun consumed the shade, to a yard directly across the street. The grass in the yard was very green, and a house stood against it, neat and white in the morning sun. A double row of trees stood alongside the house, heavy with cherries that showed deep red against the dark green of the leaves and dull dark brown of the branches. The two boys were watching an old man who rocked himself in a chair as he stared back at them across the street. “Just look at him,” said Buster. “Ole Rogan’s so scared we gonna git some a his ole cherries he ain’t even got sense enough to go in outa the sun!” “Well, them birds is gitting their’n,” said Riley. “They mockingbirds.” “I don’t care what kinda birds they is, they sho in them trees.” “Yeah, ole Rogan don’t see them. Man, I tell you white folks ain’t got no sense.” They were silent now, watching the darting flight of the birds into the trees. Behind them they could hear the clatter of a sewing machine: Riley’s mother was sewing for the white folks. It was quiet, and as the woman worked, her voice rose above the whirring machine in song.

“Mister Toussan”╇ •â•‡ 225 “Your mama sho can sing, man,” said Buster. “She sings in the choir,” said Riley, “and she sings all the leads in church.” “Shucks, I know it,” said Buster. “You tryin’ to brag?” As they listened they heard the voice rise clear and liquid to float upon the morning air: “I got wings, you got wings, All God’s chillun got a wings When I git to heaven gonna put on my wings Gonna shout all ovah God’s heab’n. Heab’n, heab’n Everbody talkin’ ’bout heab’n ain’t going there Heab’n, heab’n, Ah’m gonna fly all ovah God’s heab’nâ•›.â•›.â•›. She sang as though the words possessed a deep and throbbing meaning for her, and the boys stared blankly at the earth, feeling the somber, mysterious calm of church. The street was quiet, and even old Rogan had stopped rocking to listen. Finally the voice trailed off to a hum and became lost in the clatter of the busy machine. “Wish I could sing like that,” said Buster. Riley was silent, looking down to the end of the porch where the sun had eaten a bright square into the shade, fixing a flitting butterfly in its brilliance. “What would you do if you had wings?” he said. “Shucks, I’d outfly an eagle. I wouldn’t stop flying till I was a million, billion, trillion, zillion miles away from this ole town.” “Where’d you go, man?” “Up north, maybe to Chicago.” “Man, if I had wings I wouldn’t never settle down.” “Me neither. Hecks, with wings you could go anywhere, even up to the sun if it wasn’t too hotâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›I’d go to New Yorkâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Even around the starsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Or Dee-Â�troit, Michiganâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Hell, you could git some cheese off the moon and some milk from the Milky Wayâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Or anywhere else colored is freeâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “I bet I’d loop-Â�the-loopâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “And parachuteâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “I’d land in Africa and git me some diamondsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Yeah, and them cannibals would eat the hell outa you, too,” said Riley. “The heck they would, not as fast as I’d fly awayâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Man, they’d catch you and stick some them long spears in your behin’!” said Riley. Buster laughed as Riley shook his head gravely: “Boy, you’d look like a black pincushion when they got through with you,” said Riley. “Shucks, man, they couldn’t catch me, them suckers is too lazy. The geography

226╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents book says they ’bout the most lazy folks in the whole world,” said Buster with disgust, “just black and lazy!” “Aw naw, they ain’t neither,” exploded Riley. “They is too! The geography book says they is!” “Well, my old man says they ain’t!” “How come they ain’t then?” “â•›’Cause my old man says that over there they got kings and diamonds and gold and ivory, and if they got all them things, all of ’em caint be lazy,” said Riley. “Ain’t many colored folks over here got them things.” “Sho ain’t, man. The white folks won’t let ’em,” said Buster. It was good to think that all the Africans were not lazy. He tried to remember all he had heard of Africa as he watched a purple pigeon sail down into the street and scratch where a horse had passed. Then, as he remembered a story his teacher had told him, he saw a car rolling swiftly up the street and the pigeon stretching its wings and lifting easily into the air, skimming the top of the car in its slow, rocking flight. He watched it rise and disappear where the taut telephone wires cut the sky above the curb. Buster felt good. Riley scratched his initials in the soft earth with his big toe. “Riley, you know all them Africa guys ain’t really that lazy,” he said. “I know they ain’t,” said Riley. “I just tole you so.” “Yeah, but my teacher tole me, too. She tole us ’bout one of the African guys named Toussan what she said whipped Napoleon!” Riley stopped scratching in the earth and looked up, his eye rolling in disgust: “Now how come you have to start lying?” “Thass what she said.” “Boy, you oughta quit telling them things.” “I hope God may kill me.” “She said he was a African?” “Cross my heart, manâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Really?” “Really, man. She said he come from a place named Hayti.” Riley looked hard at Buster and, seeing the seriousness of the face, felt the excitement of a story rise up within him. “Buster, I’ll bet a fat man you lyin’. What’d that teacher say?” “Really, man, she said that Toussan and his men got up on one of them African mountains and shot down them peckerwood soldiers fass as they’d try to come upâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Why good-Â�God-a-Â�mighty!” yelled Riley. “Oh boy, they shot ’em down!” chanted Buster. “Tell me about it, man!” “And they throwed ’em off the mountainâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Goool-Â�leee!â•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›And Toussan drove ’em cross the sandâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Yeah! And what was they wearing, Buster?â•›.â•›.â•›.”

“Mister Toussan”╇ •â•‡ 227 “Man, they had on red uniforms and blue hats all trimmed with gold and they had some swords all shining, what they called sweet blades of Damascusâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Sweet blades of Damascus!â•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›They really had ’em,” chanted Buster. “And what kinda guns?” “Big, black cannon!” “And where did ole what you call ’im run them guys?â•›.â•›.â•›.” “His name was Toussan.” “Toozan! Just like Tarzanâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Not Taar-Â�zan, dummy, Toou-Â�zan!” “Toussan! And where’d ole Toussan run ’em?” “Down to the water, manâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›To the river waterâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Where some great big ole boats was waiting for ’emâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Go on, Buster!” “An’ Toussan shot into them boatsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›He shot into ’emâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›shot into them boatsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Jesus!â•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›with his great big cannonsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Yeah!â•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›made a-Â�brassâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Brassâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›an’ his big black cannonballs started killin’ them peckerwoodsâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Lawd, Lawdâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Boy, till them peckerwoods hollowed, Please, Please, Mister Toussan, we’ll be good!” “An’ what’d Toussan tell ’em, Buster?” “Boy, he said in his deep voice, I oughta drown all a you bastards.” “An’ what’d the peckerwoods say?” “They said, Please, Please, Please, Mister Toussanâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›We’ll be good,” broke in Riley. “Thass right, man,” said Buster excitedly. He clapped his hands and kicked his heels against the earth, his black face glowing in a burst of rhythmic joy. “Boy!” “And what’d ole Toussan say then?” “He said in his big deep voice: You all peckerwoods better be good, ’cause this is sweet Papa Toussan talking and my nigguhs is crazy ’bout white meat!” “Ho, ho, ho!” Riley bent double with laughter. The rhythm still throbbed within him and he wanted the story to go on and onâ•›.â•›.â•›. “Buster, you know didn’t no teacher tell you that lie,” he said. “Yes, she did, man.” “She said there was really a guy like that what called hisself Sweet Papa Toussan?”

228╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents Riley’s voice was unbelieving, and there was a wistful expression in his eyes that Buster could not understand. Finally, he dropped his head and grinned. “Well,” he said, “I bet thass what ole Toussan said. You know how grown folks is, they caint tell a story right ’cepting real old folks like Granma.” “They sho caint,” said Riley. “They don’t know how to put the right stuff to it.” Riley stood, his legs spread wide, and stuck his thumbs in the top of his trousers, swaggering sinisterly. “Come on, watch me do it now, Buster. Now I bet ole Toussan looked down at them white folks standing just about like this and said in a soft easy voice: Ain’t I done begged you white folks to quit messin’ with me?â•›.â•›.â•›.” “Thass right, quit messing with ’im,” chanted Buster. “But naw, you all had to come on anywayâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Just ’cause they was blackâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Thass right,” said Riley. “Then ole Toussan felt so damn bad and mad the tears came a-Â�trickling downâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›He was really mad.” “And then, man, he said in his big, bad voice: Goddamn you white folks, how come you all caint let us colored alone?” “.â•›.â•›.â•›An’ he was cryingâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›An’ Toussan tole them peckerwoods: I been beggin’ you all to quit bothering usâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Beggin’ on his bended knees! â•›.â•›.â•›.” “Then, man, Toussan got real mad and snatched off his hat and started stompin’ up and down on it and the tears was tricklin’ down and he said: You all come tellin’ me about Napoleonâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “They was tryin’ to scare ’im, manâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Said: I don’t give a damn about Napoleonâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Wasn’t studyin’ ’bout himâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›Toussan said: Napoleon ain’t nothing but a man! Then Toussan pulled back his shining sword like this, and twirled it at them peckerwoods’ throats so hard it z-Â�z-z-Â�zinged in the air!” “Now keep on, finish it, man,” said Buster. “What’d Toussan do then?” “Then you know what he did, he said: I oughta beat the hell outa you peckerwoods!” “Thass right, and he did it too,” said Buster. He jumped to his feet and fenced violently with five desperate imaginary soldiers, running each through with his imaginary sword. Buster watched him from the porch, grinning. “Toussan musta scared them white folks almost to death!” “Yeah, thass ’bout the way it was,” said Buster. The rhythm was dying now and he sat back upon the porch, breathing tiredly. “It sho is a good story,” said Riley. “Hecks, man, all the stories my teacher tells us is good. She’s a good ole teacher – but you know one thing?”

“Mister Toussan”╇ •â•‡ 229 “Naw, what?” “Ain’t none of them stories in the books. Wonder why?” “Hell, you know why. Ole Toussan was too hard on them white folks, thass why.” “Oh, he was a hard man!” “He was meanâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “But a good mean!” “Toussan was cleanâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “.â•›.â•›.â•›He was a good, clean mean,” said Riley. “Aw, man, he was sooo-Â�preme,” said Buster. “Riiiley!!” The boys stopped short in their word play, their mouths wide. “Riley, I say!” It was Riley’s mother’s voice. “Ma’m?” “She musta heard us cussin’,” whispered Buster. “Shut up, man .â•›.â•›. What you want, Ma?” “I says I want you all to go round the backyard and play. You keeping up too much fuss out there. White folks says we tear up a neighborhood when we move in it and you all out there jus provin’ them out true. Now git on round in the back.” “Aw, Ma, we was jus playing, Maâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “Boy, I said for you all to go on.” “But, Maâ•›.â•›.â•›.” “You hear me, boy!” “Yessum, we going,” said Riley. “Come on, Buster.” Buster followed slowly behind, feeling the dew upon his feet as he walked up on the shaded grass. “What else did he do, man?” Buster said. “Huh? Rogan?” “Hecks, naw! I’m talkin’ ’bout Toussan.” “Doggone if I know, man – but I’m gonna ask that teacher.” “He was a fightin’ son-Â�of-a-Â�gun, wasn’t he, man?” “He didn’t stand for no foolishness,” said Riley reservedly. He thought of other things now, and as he moved along, he slid his feet easily over the short-Â�cut grass, dancing as he chanted: Iron is iron, And tin is tin, And that’s the way The storyâ•›.â•›.â•›. “Aw come on, man,” interrupted Buster. “Let’s go play in the alleyâ•›.â•›.â•›.” And that’s the wayâ•›.â•›.â•›. “Maybe we can slip around and get some cherries,” Buster went on. .â•›.â•›.â•›the story ends, chanted Riley.

230╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents “Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-Â�China” Paul Robeson, 1954 Paul Robeson (1898–1976), the son of an escaped slave who became a minister and a teacher, was born and educated in New Jersey. After distinguishing himself as valedictorian at Rutgers College and earning a law degree at Columbia University, he decided to pursue a career as a performing artist in New York. A singer and actor, Robeson gave recitals; recorded music; and appeared in many plays and films. Beginning in the 1830s, Robeson became increasingly politically active, focusing on Africa, joining with socialist activists such as C. L. R. James, visiting the Soviet Union, and fighting for labor rights and racial equality. His support of the Soviet Union following World War II and his staunch advocacy of civil rights made him the target of the House Un-Â�American Activities Committee, and his career suffered as the government persecuted him for his political views. Black socialists and progressives such as Robeson saw in contemporary victories of people of color worldwide against European domination the same desire to fight for independence that the Haitian Revolution had inspired. The defeat of the French by the Vietnamese army in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 was one such event. In the following essay, published in the periodical Freedom, Robeson makes the connection explicitly and warns African Americans about potential American involvement in Vietnam. As I write these lines, the eyes of the world are on a country inhabited by 23 million brown-Â�skinned people – a population one and a half times the number of Negroes in the U.S. In size that country is equal to the combined area of Mississippi, South Carolina and Alabama. It’s a fertile land, rich in minerals; but all the wealth is taken away by the foreign rulers, and the people are poor. I’m talking about Vietnam, and it seems to me that we Negroes have a special reason for understanding what’s going on over there. Only recently, during Negro History Week, we recalled the heroic exploits of Toussaint L’Ouverture who led the people of Haiti in a victorious rebellion against the French Empire. Well, at the same time that the French were fighting to keep their hold on the black slaves of Haiti, they were sending an army around to the other side of the world to impose colonial slavery on the people of Indo-Â�China. And ever since then the Indo-Â�Chinese have been struggling to be free from French domination. “My children, France comes to make us slaves. God gave us liberty; France has no right to take it away. Burn the cities, destroy the harvests, tear up the roads with cannon, poison the wells, show the white man the hell he comes to make!” Those fiery words, addressed to his people by Toussaint L’Ouverture when Originally published in Freedom, March 1954. Reprinted from “Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-Â�China,” in Paul Robeson Speaks, by Paul Robeson, edited by Philip S. Foner, Citadel Press, 2002, copyright © 1978 by Brunner/Mazel, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by arrangement with Kensington Publishing Corp. www.kensingtonbooks.com.

“Toussaint L’Ouverture of Indo-China”╇ •â•‡ 231 Napoleon sent Leclerc with an army of 30,000 men to re-Â�enslave Haiti, are echoed today by Ho Chi Minh, who is the Toussaint of Vietnam. Yes, and a French general called Le Clerc was also sent against Ho Chi Minh, but like the blacks of Haiti, the plantation workers of Indo-Â�China have proved unconquerable. In 1946 France was forced to recognize the Republic of Vietnam, headed by Ho Chi Minh; but like the double-Â�crossing Napoleon in the time of Toussaint, the French colonial masters returned with greater force to re-Â�enslave the people who had liberated themselves. The common people of France have come to hate this struggle; they call it “the dirty war”; and their rulers have not dared to draft Frenchmen for military service there. “Who are the Vietminh?” said a French officer to a reporter from the Associated Press. “Where are they? Who knows? They are everywhere.” And the reporter wrote: “Ho Chi Minh’s barefoot hordes infiltrate French-Â�held territory at will in the guise of peasants, arms concealed under brown tunics. They have allies who hide them and feed them – allies who are not Communists but just people who hate the French, hate the foreigner and want him to go.” Now, when France wants to call it quits, Eisenhower, Nixon and Dulles are insisting that Vietnam must be re-Â�conquered and held in colonial chains. “The Vietnamese lack the ability to govern themselves,” says Vice President Nixon. Vast quantities of U. S. bombers, tanks and guns have been sent against Ho Chi Minh and his freedom-Â�fighters; and now we are told that soon it may be “advisable” to send American GI’s into Indo-Â�China in order that the tin, rubber and tungsten of Southeast Asia be kept by the “free world” – meaning White Imperialism. The whole world cries out for peace; but Dulles insists that the war must go on and threatens Asians again with atomic and hydrogen bombs. That’s the picture, and I ask again: shall Negro sharecroppers from Mississippi be sent to shoot down brown-Â�skinned peasants in Vietnam – to serve the interests of those who oppose Negro liberation at home and colonial freedom abroad? What are our Negro leaders saying about this? They are all too silent. The true issues involved are well known, for only recently, The Crisis, official organ of the NAACP, published an article filled with factual proof that the Vietnamese are fighting against colonial oppression. The article shows that the charge of “Red Aggression” in Indo-Â�China is a phony, and that the sympathies of our people belong with the side resisting imperialism. Three years ago Mordecai Johnson, president of Howard University, said that “For over 100 years the French have been in Indo-Â�China, dominating them politically, strangling them economically, and humiliating them in the land of their fathers.â•›.â•›.â•›. And now it looks as though they can win, and as they are about to win their liberty, we rush up and say: ‘What on earth are you all getting ready

232╇ •â•‡ Historical Documents to do? .â•›.â•›. We are the free people of the world, we are your friends, we will send you leadersâ•›.â•›.â•›.’ “And they look at us in amazement and they say: ‘Brother, where have you been. Why if we’d known you was a-Â�comin’ we’d have baked a cake.’â•›” Today, more than ever, is the time for plain speaking. Peace can be won if we demand it. The imperialists can be halted in their tracks. And as we think about Ho Chi Minh, the modernday Toussaint L’Ouverture leading his people to freedom, let us remember well the warning words of a Negro spokesman, Charles Baylor, who wrote in the Richmond Planet a half-Â�century ago: “The American Negro cannot become the ally of imperialism without enslaving his own race.”

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Contributors

Leslie M. Alexander is Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University, where she teaches African American, African Diaspora, and early American history. Her teaching and research interests focus on Black culture, nationalism, the creation of community, and political movements. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Her first monograph, entitled African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784– 1861 (University of Illinois, 2008), explores Black culture, identity, and political activism during the nineteenth century. Dr. Alexander’s next project, tentatively titled “The Cradle of Hope: African American Internationalism in the Nineteenth Century,” investigates early African American foreign policy. In particular, it examines how African American activists became involved in international movements for racial and social justice in countries such as Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil. Dr. Alexander has won several university awards, including the University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. She is also the recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Post Doctoral Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. Jacqueline Bacon, an independent scholar who lives in San Diego, has been researching and writing on African American history, rhetoric, and the media for over a decade. She is the author of two books, The Humblest May Stand Forth: Rhetoric, Empowerment, and Abolition (University of South Carolina Press, 2002) and Freedom’s Journal: The First African-­ American Newspaper (Lexington Books, 2007). She has also written numerous scholarly and popular articles and book chapters on topics ranging from historical studies of African American rhetoric to analyses of the discourse surrounding contemporary issues such as reparations and the 2008 election, including “Declarations of Independence: African-­ American Abolitionists and the Struggle for Racial and Rhetorical Self-­ Determination,” in Critical Rhetorics of Race (NYU Press); “Dubious Debates: How Media Moderators Lowered the Level of Election ’08,” in Extra! (July/August 2008); and “Reading the Reparations Debate,” in the Quarterly Journal of Speech (August 2003). Matthew J. Clavin is Assistant Professor of History at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, where he teaches courses in American and

250  •  Contributors Atlantic history. He is the author of Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and articles in Early American Studies, Civil War History, and Slavery and Abolition. He is also the author of “ ‘It is a negro, not an Indian war’: Southampton, St. Domingo, and the Second Seminole War,” in the forthcoming anthology America’s Hundred Years War: U.S. Expansion to the Gulf Coast and the Fate of the Seminoles, 1763–1858 (University of Florida Press, 2010). His current research focuses on slavery and slave resistance in the Deep South. Sara C. Fanning is Assistant Professor of History at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She is currently working on her manuscript “Haiti and the United States: African American Emigration and the Recognition Debate.” This work examines the social, cultural, and political relationship between Haiti and the United States during the first three decades of the nineteenth century. The study deepens our understanding of how Haiti’s leaders struggled to find a footing for their nation in an era of hardening racism, slave expansion, and diplomatic isolation and tells us about the resistance facing Americans who fought slavery’s growth and the rising tide of racism. Sara has taught at Rutgers University, Newark and worked at the New-­York Historical Society as an Exhibition Researcher for “New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War.” Maurice Jackson teaches Atlantic, African American, and Jazz history and the history of Washington, DC at Georgetown University. He recently published Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). He is also the author of “Diasporan Voices of the African Past: James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Olaudah Equinao, and Ignatius Sancho as Sources of African History,” in The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa: Essays in Honor of Robin Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2009); “James and Esther Jackson: A Personal Perspective,” in American Communist History (December 2008); “The Rise of Abolition” in The Atlantic World, 1450–2000 (Indiana University Press, 2008); and the liner notes to the Grammy-­Nominated Jazz CD by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, Steal Away: Spirituals, Folks Songs and Hymns (Verve Records, 1995). He was inducted into the Washington, DC, Hall of Fame in 2009 for his work in government and politics. He is currently at work on a social, political, and cultural history of African Americans in Washington, DC (1790–the present). Mitch Kachun is Associate Professor of History at Western Michigan University, specializing in African American History, historical memory, and public commemorations. Kachun earned his Ph.D. in History at Cornell University in 1997. He is author of Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808–1915

Contributors  •  251 (Massachusetts, 2003) and co-­editor of The Curse of Caste; or, the Slave Bride, a Rediscovered African American Novel by Julia C. Collins (Oxford, 2006). Recent articles include, “From Forgotten Founder to Indispensable Icon: Crispus Attucks, Black Citizenship, and Collective Memory, Journal of the Early Republic (Summer 2009); the co-­authored, “Rethinking a Curricular ‘Muddle in the Middle’: Revising the Undergraduate History Major at Western Michigan University,” Journal of American History (March 2009); “ ‘A Beacon to Oppressed Peoples Everywhere’: Richard R. Wright Sr., National Freedom Day, and the Rhetoric of Freedom in the 1940s” (Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 2004); and “ ‘Our Platform is as Broad as Humanity’: Transatlantic Freedom Movements and the Idea of Progress in Nineteenth Century African American Thought and Activism” (Slavery and Abolition, 2003). Kachun’s current project examines Crispus Attucks’s place in American history and memory. He lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Glen McClish is Professor and Chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University. He has published articles and reviews in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, College English, The Journal of Communication and Religion, The Journal of Teaching Writing, Rhetorica, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Composition Studies, and Communication Education. In addition, he has edited a composition textbook, Investigating Arguments: Readings for College Writers (Houghton Mifflin, 1991) and several instructors’ manuals. His scholarly interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-­century British and American rhetoric (with a particular emphasis on African American discourse), as well as composition and communication pedagogy. Julius S. Scott is Lecturer in the Department of History and in the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he teaches courses in the history of the Atlantic world, the African diaspora, and early America. He is co-­editor (with Laurent Dubois) of Origins of the Black Atlantic (Routledge, forthcoming).

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Index

Abdul Rahaman of Footah Jallo, Prince 95 Adams, Jessica 144 Adams, John Quincy 67 affranchis Â�10–11 African Americans: culture and history Â�141–59; invocations of Haiti Â�39–51; political consciousness (1816–1862) Â�57–77; responses to Haitian Revolution Â�9–20 African American sailors Â�25–36 African Free School 144 African Methodist Episcopal Church 15, 61, Â�123–4 African-American Commemorative Celebrations in the Nineteenth Century (Fabre) 102 African-American Repository 71, 76 Albion 90 Alderhold, Olin 153 Alexander, Leslie M. Â�3–4, Â�57–77 Allen, Bishop Richard 15, 50, 61, 144 Ambuscade 29 American Civil War Â�74–5; black Atlantic tradition in Â�107–18 American Colonization Society (ACS) 3, Â�15–16, 39, 47, 50 American Convention for the Abolition of Slavery 48, 59 American South, slave revolts Â�13–15 American Toussaints Â�107–18 American War of Independence Â�66–7, 126 Anderson, Cat 155 Anglo-African Magazine 72 antebellum African Americans Â�93–105 anti-slavery petitions, gag rule 67 Apollo 34 Aristide, Jean-Bertrand 12 Augustinian Society 48, 59 Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial 111 Aux Cayes 89 Ayer, Belle 155 Babouk (Endore) 145 Bacon, Jacqueline Â�1–6, Â�9–20, Â�81–91, 133 Ballard, Barbara 125, 126 Baltimore: black population 28; commemoration of independence Â�96–7, 99, Â�102–3; migrants Â�30–1, 61 Banjo (McKay) 144 Beard, John Relly 109

Bechet, Sidney Â�153–4 Bell, Howard 16 Benezet, Anthony 144 Berlin, Ira 14, Â�96–7, Â�98–9, 101, 102 Betsey Brown (Shange) 158 Bibler, Michael P. 144 black Atlantic tradition, American Civil War Â�107–18 Black Identity and Black Protest in the Antebellum North (Rael) 103 Black Jacobins (James) Â�2–3, 9, Â�145–6 Black Majesty: The Life of Christophe, King of Haiti (Candercook) 150 Black Man, His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements (Brown) Â�17–18, 115 black nationalism, early roots of Â�39–51 black press, memory of Haiti in Â�16–17 black soldiers, Union army 76, Â�109–15, 118 Black Thunder (Bontemps) 143 black writers and speakers Â�17–20 Black, Brown and Beige (Ellington) Â�154–5, 156 Blaine, Mahlon 150 Blake, Eubie 148 Bogle, Donald 149 Bolster, W. Jeffrey 44 Bonaparte, Napoleon 11, 127, 129, 146, 181, 192, 201, 219 Bontemps, Arna 143, 144 Bornemann, Ernest 154 Boston African Masonic Lodge 41 Boston Courier 98 Boston Statesman 98 Boston, commemoration of independence 97–101 Bowers, John C. Â�112–13 Bowers, Newport 3, Â�25–36 Boyer Lodge 48 Boyer, General Jean-Pierre: coup against 89; election as president 11; immigration scheme Â�48–50, Â�60–2, Â�63–4; independence celebrations Â�98–9; in exile 68; music dedicated to 153 Brown, John 109, 112, 115, 142, 143 Brown, Michael 32, 33 Brown, William Wells Â�17–18, Â�183–9 Brunel, Joseph R.E. 43 Buhle, Paul 150 Bustill, Joseph 74, Â�75–6

254  •  Index Bynam, Caroline 2 Camp, Stephanie 114 Camps and Prisons (Duganne) 117 Canada, migration to 16 Cap Français Â�14–15, 29, 30 Cape Henry school 46 Carlyle, Thomas Â�144–5 Carney, Harry 154 Carney, Sergeant William H. 111 Carpenter, Philip P. 100, 101 Chacón, José Maria 34 Charge to African Masons (Hall) Â�41–2 Charles X, King 97 Charleston, black population 28 Charming Sally 29 Chicago Herald 123, 124, Â�129–30 Chicago Tribune 123 Chicago World’s Colombian Exposition (1893) 12, Â�123–5; Frederick Douglass at Â�125–9; lecture delivered at Â�202–11 Chilton, John Â�153–4 Christian Recorder 123, 124 Christianity 46, Â�132–3, 134 Christophe, Henri: description of 187; emigration scheme Â�47–8, 59; in Emperor Jones Â�148–9; institution-building Â�42–3, Â�44–5, 46; as monarch 11 Christophe, Madame 90 citizenship 47, 59, 61; black sailors Â�43–4 City Gazette 28 Clapperton, Hugh 81 Clark, Benjamin Cutler 70 Clark, Kathleen 103 Clarkson, Thomas Â�47–8, 216 Clavin, Matthew J. 4, Â�107–18 Cleveland Convention 71 Collette, Buddy 156 colonization Â�15–16, 43, Â�47–8, Â�49–51, Â�58–65, Â�70–6 Colored American 17, Â�65–7 Coltraine, John 157 Columbian Centinel 90 communication networks Â�25–36 Comte, Auguste 157 Conditions and Prospects of Hayti (Russwurm) Â�167–9 Confederate army Â�114–15 Congress of Vienna (1815) 97 Constitution (1805) 42 Constitution (1816) Â�46–7, 59 contrabands 116 Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina (1865) 195 Cooke, J.F. Â�113–14 Cooper, Anna Julia Â�142–3 Cornish, Samuel Â�16–17, Â�81–91, Â�169–76 coups Â�12–13, 68, 71 Covey, Edward 109, 135

Crisis 142 Crow, Jim 125, 132, 142 Cuba Â�25–6 Cuffee, Paul 15, 44 Cullen, Countee 150 cultural development Â�40–1 cultural differences 64, 95 cultural voices Â�143–7 culture, African American Â�141–59 Curaçao Â�32–3 Curry, Leonard 103 Daily Missouri Democrat 100, 101 Daily National Intelligencer 72, 74 David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (Walker) Â�15–16, 94 Davis, David Brion 15 Davis, George R. 123 Davis, Ossie 159 Davison, John 29 Defining Moments (Clark) 103 Delany, Martin 16, 70, 112 Denham, Dixon 81 Desdunes, Colonel Emile 71 Deslondes, Charles 40, Â�94–5 despotism Â�68–9 Dessalines, Jean-Jacques (Jean-Jacques I) 11, Â� 42–3, 58, 59, 96, 143, 150, 165, 187, 193, 220; crowned emperor 165 Desverney, Anthony 115 Dial Â�141–2 Domingo, Juan 32 Douglass’ Monthly Â�111–12, 114 Douglass, Frederick: as consul general Â�11–12, 143; on diplomatic relations with Haiti 68, Â�69–70; on emigration 75; and rhetorical significance on Haitian revolution Â�123–37; speeches 19, Â�202–11; writings 10, 109, 144 Douglass, H. Ford 74, 76, 112 Douglass, Lewis Â�111–12 Downing, George 74, 76 Dred Scott decision 75 Drums at Dusk (Bontemps) 144 Duberman, Martin 149 Dubois, Laurent 3 DuBois, Michelle Â�151–2 DuBois, W.E.B. 5, Â�141–2, 144, Â�150–1, 155, 157 Duffin, James 74 Dunham, Katherine Â�152–3 Duvalier, François 12 early black press Â�16–17 early black writers and speakers Â�17–20 economic opportunities Â�33–4, 47 education Â�45–6, 47, 59 Egerton, Douglas 13 Eighth Connecticut Volunteers 112 Eisenstein, Sergei M. 149

Index  •  255 Ellington, Duke Â�154–6, 159 Elliot, Charles Wyllys 109 Ellison, Ralph 5, Â�146–7, Â�223–9 Emancipation Proclamation 109 emigration: to Canada 16; from Haiti Â�14–15, Â� 30–1; to Haiti Â�15–16, 43, Â�47–8, Â�49–51, Â�58–65, Â�70–6 Emperor Jones (O’Neill) Â�147–50 Endore, Guy 145 English, adoption of 46, 47 Equiano, Olaudah Â�26–7, 28 Fabre, Geneviève 102, 104 Fanning, Sara 3, Â�39–51 Faustin I. Â�70–1 Federal Arts Project (FAP) 151 female heroes Â�86–7, Â�90–1 Feuille du Commerce 89 Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment Â�111–12, 113 First District Columbia Volunteers 114 Fischer-Hornung, Dorothea 147 Flasch, Joy Â�144–5 Floyd, Governor James 14 Foner, Eric 102 For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (Shange) 20, Â� 157–8 Fordham, Monroe 14 Forging Freedom (Nash) 103 Fort Wagner 111, 113 Forten, James 15, 50, 61 Forten, Sarah 153 Foster, Frances Smith 87 France: abolition of slavery Â�10–11, 32; acknowledgement of independence 49, 58, Â�63–4, Â�97–101 Francisco, Juan 32 Frank, Waldo 149 Free Black in Urban America (Curry) 103 free black population, US Â�40–1 Freedmen’s Bureau 19 Freedom’s Journal 4, 102; Haitian revolution in (1827–1829) Â�81–91; memory of Haiti in Â� 16–17 French privateers Â�33–4 French Revolution (Carlyle) Â�144–5 French Revolution 10, 29, 110, 184, Â�217–18 Frey, Sylvia 13 Fugitive Slave Act (1850) 16, 75 Furstenberg, François 108 Gabriel’s conspiracy (1800) 40 Garner, Henry Highland 74, 76 Garrison, William Lloyd 17, 100 Gaspar, Barry David 145 Geffrard Industrial Regiment 74, Â�75–6 Geffrard, Fabre Â�71–2, 73

Genet, Edmond 29 Genius of Universal Emancipation 14, 97, 103 Genovese, Eugene 40 Gilliam, Dorothy 150 Gilpin, Charles 148 Glatthaar, Joseph 111 Glory (film) 111 Gloucester, Jeremiah 95 Glover, Danny 1, 20 Gonsalves, Paul 155 Gould, Colonel Robert 111 Grand Lodge of African Freemasonry 41 Granville, Jonathas Â�49–51, Â�61–2 Great Debaters (film) 144 Greene, Charles E. 112 Grice, Hezekiah 16 Gruenberg, Louis 150 Guide to Haiti (Redpath) 73 Guy, M. Camille 220 Hadi, Shafi 156 Haiti’s Influence on Antebellum America (Hunt) 101 Haitian Bureau of Emigration, Boston Â�73–4, 75, 76, 112 Haitian Emigration Societies 50, 60, 61 Haitian Pavilion, Chicago World’s Colombian Exposition (1893) 12, Â�123–5; Frederick Douglass at Â�125–9; lecture delivered at dedication ceremonies Â�202–11 Hall, Prince 1, Â�41–2 Harper’s Ferry raid 143 Harper’s Weekly 114 Harrison, President Benjamin 11 Hasse, John Edward 154 “Hayti” (Russwurm) 176 Haytian Papers (Saunders) 45, 47, 59 Herskovits, Melville Â�143–4 Heyward, DuBose Â�148–9 Hinks, Peter 15 Hispaniola 60 historical mythmaking Â�93–105 history, African Americans Â�141–59 History of Pan-African Revolt (James) Â�214–23 History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion (Williams) 113 History of the Revolution of Hayti (McCune Smith) Â�177–83 Ho Chi Minh is Toussaint L’Ouverture of IndoChina (Robeson) 10, Â�230–2 Holiday, Billie 155 Holly, Rev. James Theodore 18, Â�70–4, 75, Â�189–94 House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) 5, 156 Hughes, Benjamin 63 Hughes, Langston Â�19–20, 143, 144, 152, 159, Â�212–13 Hunt, Alfred N. Â�13–14, Â�88–9, 101, 127

256  •  Index Hurston, Zora Neale Â�152–3 Hyppolite, President Florvil 12, 123, 126 Ile A’Vache 76 independence: American acknowledgement of 60, 64, Â�65–70, Â�76–7; commemoration of Â� 93–105; French acknowledgement of 49, 58, Â�63–4 Inginac, Joseph Balthazar 47, 61, Â�62–3 international communication network Â�25–36 international ostracism Â�48–9 Ireland 133 Jackson, Mahalia 155 Jackson, Maurice Â�1–6, Â�9–20, Â�141–59 Jackson, Oliver Toussaint 117 Jaffa, Kathleen de 150 James, Cyril Lionel Robert 2, 9, 144, Â�145–6, 150, Â�214–23 Jazz and People’s Movement (JPM) 156 Jenifer, J.T. 124 Jenson, Deborah 13 Johnson, Francis “Frank” 153 Johnson, Michael O. 105 Johnson, Sergeant Frederick 111 Johnson, William H. 34, 112 Jones, Absalom 144 Jones, Brutus Â�148–9 Jones, Elvin 157 Journal of Negro History 153 Juno Â�34–5 Kachun, Mitch 4, Â�93–105 King, Tom 26, 27 Kirk, Rahsaan Roland 156 Knepper, Jimmy 156 Kucinich, Dennis Â�12–13 L’Ouverture, Toussaint: American Toussaints Â�107–18; in art 166; character of 16, Â�18–19, 127, Â�177–83; in Freedom’s Journal 16; in History of Pan-African Revolt 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, Â�222–3; imprisoned in Paris 166; intellectual ability/leadership skills 13, 20, Â�85–6, 94; in Men of Mark Â�196–202; remembering Â�141–59; in St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots Â�185–7, Â�188–9; in Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Government, and Civilized Progress Â�190–3 Lamartine, Alphonse de 17 Lambert, Toussaint L’Ouverture 116 land distribution Â�62–3 Langston, John Mercer 116, 143 language 46, 47 Lapsansky, Phillip 115 Largey, Michael 150 Lawrence, Jacob 5, 20, Â�150–2

Leclerc, General Charles 11, Â�181–2, 189, 192, Â�200–1, 220 Lee, Congresswoman Barbara Â�12–13 Lee, Governor Richard Henry 28 Legaré, Hugh Swinton 67 Legge, Wade 156 Levine, Lawrence W. 158 Levine, Robert 125, 135, 136 Lewis, David Levering 142, Â�150–1 liberation, divine plan for Â�87–8 Liberator 16, 17, 70, 77, 100 Liberia 19 Lincoln, President Abraham 16, Â�76–7, 109, 132 literary journals 146 Logan, Rayford 154 Logic, Bob 107 Lomax, Alan Â�152–3 Louisiana, riots 94 Lowenthal, David Â�104–5 Lundy, Benjamin 97 McClish, Glen 5, Â�123–37 McCune Smith, Dr James 17, 63, Â�67–8, 74, 75, 76, Â�177–83 McDaniel, Caleb 94 McFeely, William 125 McKay, Claude 44 Manuel, Nicolás 33 maritime culture Â�26–8 Markwell, Mrs George Â�144–5 Martineau, Harriet 157 Martinique 49 Maryland Gazette 62 masculinity, ideals of Â�85–6, 108 Matheus, Frederick 150 Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising (Simmons) 19, Â�195–202 Mikhoels, Solomon 149 military ceremonies 44 military service, freedom in return for 32 Mingus, Charles 5, 156 Mister Toussan (Ellison) Â�146–7, Â�223–9 Môle St. Nicholas Â�11–12, 131 monarchy, establishment of Â�45–6 Monroe, Governor James 13 Monroe, Rev. William C. 18 “Morgan Guards” 111 Morgan, S. Griffith 111 Moses, Wilson Jeremiah Â�87–8 music Â�153–7 mutiny (1820) 11 naming practices Â�116–17 Nance, Ray 155 Nancy 34 Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa (Oudney) 81 Nash, Gary B. 14, 15, 103

Index  •  257 Nash, Oliver Â�90–1 nation-building Â�42–5 National Advocate 62 National Anti-Slavery Standard 19 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Â�19–20, 142 National Emigration Convention (1854) 70 National Era 71 National Urban League 150 Negro Seaman Act (1822) 36 Nesbett, Peter T. Â�151–2 New Bedford Mercury 111 New England Black State Convention (1859) 18 New England Colored Citizens’ Convention (1859) 195 “New Hayti” 116 New Masses 143, 146 New World A-Comin (Ottley) Â�155–6 New York: commemoration of independence 96, 98, 103; emigration from Â�57–8, 61; suffrage Â�50–1 New York African Masonic Lodge 48 New York Amsterdam News 149 New York Daily Advertiser 96 New York Enquirer 90 New York Evangelist 69 New York Evening Post Â�115–16 New York Herald 116 New York Times Â�71–2, 113, 116 New York Tribune 74, 114, 118 Newport, black population 28 newspapers: memories of Haiti in Â�16–17; opinions on emigration 62; as source of information on Haiti 41; see also Freedom’s Journal Niles’ Weekly Register 44, 47, 97, 99, 101 Noah, Mordecai Manuel 90 Nordin, Kenneth 83 North American Review 12, 45 North Star 17, Â�111–12 Northern African Americans: invocations of Haiti Â�39–51; political consciousness Â�57–77 Nothing but Freedom (Foner) 102

Pan-Africanism 57, 60, 62, 64, 72, 73, 82, 84, Â� 87–8, 131, Â�132–4 Parsons, Boston Toussaint Â�116–17 Pasley, Jeffrey 41 Paul, Rev. Thomas 99 Pease, Jane H. and William H. 16 Pétion, Alexandre 11, Â�42–3, Â�44–5, Â�46–7, 48, 59, 60 Philadelphia: black population 28; commemoration of independence 15, 98, 103; migration from 61; recruitment of sailors 43; riots in 42, 95 Philadelphia Haitian Emigration Society 61 Philadelphia Tribune 149 Phillips, Christopher Â�102–3 Phillips, Wendell Â�147–8, 157, Â�199–200, Â�201–2 Pine and Palm (Redpath) 112 plantation society Â�26–8 Plummer, Brenda Gayle 95 political consciousness, northern blacks Â�57–77 Political Essay on the Island of Cuba (von Humboldt) Â�25–6 political opportunities Â�33–4 political problems 69 Polly 29 Ponte Coupee conspiracy (1795) 40 Port-au-Prince 29 Porter, Thomas 156 Poston, Ted 149 Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser 47 Préval, Rene 12 print culture Â�114–15 privateers Â�33–4 Proceedings of a Convention of the Colored Men of Ohio, Held in the City of Cincinnati 195 Prosser, Gabriel 13, Â�94–5 Psalms 68:31 87 public commemoration Â�93–105

O’Connell, Daniel 133 O’Meally, Robert G. 147 O’Neill, Eugene 148 Oates, Stephen 13 occupation 12, Â�19–20, 142, 144 Ogé, Jacques Vincent 10, Â�84–5 Opportunity 150 oral culture Â�115–16 Ottley, Roi 155 Oudney, Walter 81 Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (Nesbett/DuBois) Â�151–2

Raeburn, Bruce Boyd 153 Rael, Patrick 103 Rampersad, Arnold 144 Ray, Charles Â�65–7 Raynal, Abbé 17, 19, 197 Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World’s Colombian Exposition (Wells) Â�125–6, 132 Rediker, Marcus 2 Redpath, James 73, 74, 76, 109, 112 Reflexions (de Vastey) 45 Reisner, Robert George 153 religion 46, Â�132–3, 134 reverse migration 63

Pan-African Conference (1919) 142

Quarles, Benjamin 100 Quarterly Review 85 Quinn Chapel, Chicago 124; Frederick Douglass at Â�129–36

258  •  Index Reynolds Illustrated News 148 rhetorical significance Â�123–37 Richmond, Dannie 156 Rigaud, André 11 riots 42, Â�94–5 Rising Sun 34 Roach, Max 157 Roane, Kenneth 153 Robeson, Paul 5, 10, Â�147–50, 156, Â�230–2 Robinson, Randall 12 Rochambeau, General Donetien 11, 182, 193 Rothman, Adam 14 Russwurm, John Â�16–17, 64, Â�81–91, Â�167–9, 176 Rydell, Robert 125 sailors: citizenship Â�43–4; as networks of communication Â�25–36, 44; South Carolina’s laws against 50 St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and its Patriots (Brown) Â�183–9 St. Louis, commemoration of independence Â� 96–7, Â�100–1 St. Marc 74 Same (Hughes) Â�212–13 Santamarina, Xiomara 2 Santana, Carlos 157 Saunders, Prince 45, Â�47–8, Â�59–60 Scott, Julius 3, Â�14–15, Â�25–36 seaports, migration to 28 self-determinism Â�88–9 settlers Â�62–4 Shange, Ntozake 20, Â�157–8 Sharp, Granville 35 Shepp, Archie 156 Shield, Frederic K. 148 Shorter, Wayne 157 Shuffle Along (Blake) 148 Simmons, William J. 19, 147, Â�195–202 Simms, James Meriles 115 Sixth United States Colored Troop Â�112–13 slander 89 slave revolts: American South Â�13–15; Curaçao 32; influence on 40 Slavery and the French Revolution (1788–1805) (Cooper) Â�142–3 slavery: free blacks sold into 35; French abolition of Â�10–11, 32; US abolition of Â�67–8 Slaves Without Masters (Berlin) Â�96–7 Smith, General William S. 113 Smith, Willie “the Lion” 154 social development Â�40–1 Society of the Friends of the Blacks 144 Sonthonax, Léger Félicité 32 Soulouque, Faustin Elie (Faustin 1) Â�68–9 Souls of Black Folk (Du Bois) 155 South Carolina, laws against black sailors 50 Southern, Eileen 153 speakers Â�17–20

Stamp Act 27 State Convention of the Colored People of North Carolina (1865) 19 Stewart, Maria 17, 19 Still, William Grant 144 Story of the Negro (Bontemps) 144 Stovall, Lou 152 Strange Fruit (Holiday) 135 suffrage Â�50–1 Sumner, Senator Charles Â�69–70, Â�76–7 Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the US (1638–1870) (Du Bois) Â�141–2 Swing, David 136 taxation Â�63–4 Tell My Horse (Hurston) Â�152–3 Terry, Clark 155 Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston) 152 theological historicism Â�87–8 “Theresa – A Haytien Tale” (Freedom’s Journal) Â�171–6 Tillman, William 114 Tolson, Melvin 144 “Toussaint Guards” 111 Toussaint L’Ouverture (Beard) 151 Toussaint L’Ouverture (Lamartine) 17 trade 32, 66, Â�88–9 trading vessels Â�39–51 Treat it Gentle (Bornemann) 154 Tredwell, James 47 Troubled Island (Still) 144 Trouillot, Michel-Rolph 93, 105, 145 Turner, Nat 13, 40, 102, 109, 142, 154 Union army 76, Â�109–15, 118 United States Colored Troops 112 United States Gazette 49 Up from Slavery (Washington) Â�141–2 US Bill H.R. 331, Â�12–13 US: abolition of slavery Â�67–8; migration from Â�15–16, 43, Â�49–51, Â�58–65, Â�70–6; emigration to Â�30–1; free black population Â�40–1; occupation of Haiti 12, Â�19–20, 142, 144; recognition of Haiti 60, 64, Â�65–70, Â�76–7; relations with Haiti Â�10–13; trade with Haiti 66; trading vessels Â�39–51; see also American Civil War Vandercook, John W. 150 Vastey, Baron de Â�45–6 Vesey, Denmark 14, 28, 36, 40, 109, 154 Vietnam 10, Â�230–2 Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self Government, and Civilized Progress (Holly) 18, Â�189–94 violent sacrifice, faith in 108 Virginia: migrants 30, 31, Â�61–2; slave revolts Â� 13–14 visualization Â�150–2

Index  •  259 von Humboldt, Alexander Â�25–6 Walker, David Â�15–16, 17 Walker, E.P. 195 Ward, Samuel Ringgold 68 Warney, Leo 153 Washington African American 154 Washington, Booker T. 5, Â�141–2, 144 Washington, George 17 Watkins, Rev. Williams 15, 63, 74, 97 Weekly Anglo-African 102, 107, 109, 111, 116 Wells, Ida B. 125, 132, 135 Wells, William 115 West Africa, naming ceremonies 117 Wheat, Ellen 151 Whitefield, George 27

whites, attacks on Â�95–6 Whitfield, James Monroe 71, 76 Wilberforce, William 59, 216 Wilder, Craig Steven 81 Wilkeson, Samuel 118 Williams, George Washington 113 Williams, Peter 50, 57, 61, 63 Wise, Congressman Henry A. 67 Woodson, Carter G. 144, 153 Wordsworth, William 157 Works Project Administration (WPA) 151 world history, Africans in Â�87–8 writers Â�17–20 Zuckerman, Michael 18

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