The French had established themselves on the western portion of the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga by 1659. In the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, Spain formally recognized French control of Tortuga Island and the western third of the island of Hispaniola.
In 1791, the slaves and some free people of color of Saint-Domingue began waging a rebellion against French authority. The rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, although this alienated the island's dominant slave-holding class. France controlled the entirety of Hispaniola from 1795 to 1802, when a renewed rebellion began. The last French troops withdrew from the western portion of the island in late 1803, and the colony later declared its independence as Haiti, its indigenous name, the following year.
|Status||Colony of France|
|Common languages||French, Haitian Creole|
|Government||Absolute monarchy (until 1792)|
|Head of State of the French Republic|
• First French settlement
|January 1 1804|
|21,550 km2 (8,320 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Haiti|
Spain controlled the entire island of Hispaniola from the 1490s until the 17th century, when French pirates began establishing bases on the western side of the island. The official name was La Española, meaning "The Spanish (Island)". It was also called Santo Domingo or San Domingo, after Saint Dominic.
The western part of Hispaniola was neglected by the Spanish authorities, and French buccaneers began to settle first on the Tortuga Island, then on the northwest of the island: they called it le Grande Terre. Spain later ceded the entire western coast of the island to France, retaining the rest of the island, including the Guava Valley, today known as the Central Plateau.
The French called their portion of Hispaniola Saint-Domingue, the French equivalent of Santo Domingo. The Spanish colony on Hispaniola remained separate, and eventually became the Dominican Republic, the capital of which is still named Santo Domingo.
When Christopher Columbus took possession of the island in 1492, he named it Insula Hispana, meaning "the Spanish island" in Latin As Spain conquered new regions on the mainland of the Americas (Spanish Main), its interest in Hispaniola waned, and the colony's population grew slowly. By the early 17th century, the island and its smaller neighbors, notably Tortuga, became regular stopping points for Caribbean pirates. In 1606, the king of Spain ordered all inhabitants of Hispaniola to move close to Santo Domingo, to avoid interaction with pirates. Rather than secure the island, however, this resulted in French, English and Dutch pirates establishing bases on the now-abandoned north and west coasts of the island.
French buccaneers established a settlement on the island of Tortuga in 1625 before going to Grande Terre (mainland). At first they survived by pirating Spanish ships, eating wild cattle and hogs, and selling hides to traders of all nations. Although the Spanish destroyed the buccaneers' settlements several times, on each occasion they returned due to an abundance of natural resources: hardwood trees, wild hogs and cattle, and fresh water. The settlement on Tortuga was officially established in 1659 under the commission of King Louis XIV.
In 1665, French colonization of the islands Hispaniola and Tortuga entailed slavery-based plantation agricultural activity such as growing coffee and cattle farming. It was officially recognized by King Louis XIV. Spain tacitly recognized the French presence in the western third of the island in the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick; the Spanish deliberately omitted direct reference to the island from the treaty, but they were never able to reclaim this territory from the French.
The economy of Saint-Domingue became focused on slave-based agricultural plantations. Saint-Domingue's black population quickly increased. They followed the example of neighboring Caribbean colonies in coercive treatment of the slaves. More cattle, and slave agricultural holdings, coffee plantations and spice plantations were implemented, as well as fishing, cultivation of cocoa, coconuts and snuff. Saint-Domingue quickly came to overshadow the previous colony in both wealth and population. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Antilles," Saint-Domingue became the richest and most prosperous French colony in the West Indies, cementing its status as an important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from France and Europe. Thus, the income and the taxes from slave-based sugar production became a major source of the French budget.
Among the first buccaneers was Bertrand D'Ogeron, who played a big part in the settlement of Saint-Domingue. He encouraged the planting of tobacco, which turned a population of buccaneers and freebooters, who had not acquiesced to royal authority until 1660, into a sedentary population. D'Orgeron also attracted many colonists from Martinique and Guadeloupe, including Jean Roy, Jean Hebert and his family, and Guillaume Barre and his family, who were driven out by the land pressure which was generated by the extension of the sugar plantations in those colonies. But in 1670, shortly after Cap-Français (later Cap-Haïtien) had been established, the crisis of tobacco intervened and a great number of places were abandoned. The rows of freebooting grew bigger; plundering raids, like those of Vera Cruz in 1683 or of Campêche in 1686, became increasingly numerous, and Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, elder son of Jean Baptist Colbert and at the time Minister of the Navy, brought back some order by taking a great number of measures, including the creation of plantations of indigo and of cane sugar. The first sugar windmill was built in 1685.
On 22 July 1795, Spain ceded to France the remaining Spanish part of the island of Hispaniola, Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic), in the second Treaty of Basel, ending the War of the Pyrenees. The people of the eastern part of Saint-Domingue (French Santo Domingo) were opposed to the arrangements and hostile toward the French. The islanders revolted against their new masters and a state of anarchy ensued, leading to more French troops being brought in.
An early death among Europeans was very common due to diseases and conflicts; the French soldiers that Napoleon sent in 1802 to quell the revolt in Saint-Domingue were attacked by yellow fever during the Haitian Revolution, and more than half of the French army died of disease.
Prior to the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), the economy of Saint-Domingue gradually expanded, with sugar and, later, coffee becoming important export crops. After the war, which disrupted maritime commerce, the colony underwent rapid expansion. In 1767, it exported 72 million pounds of raw sugar and 51 million pounds of refined sugar, one million pounds of indigo, and two million pounds of cotton. Saint-Domingue became known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" — one of the richest colonies in the world in the 18th-century French empire. It was the greatest jewel in imperial France's mercantile crown. By the 1780s, Saint-Domingue produced about 40 percent of all the sugar and 60 percent of all the coffee consumed in Europe. This single colony, roughly the size of Hawaii or Belgium, produced more sugar and coffee than all of the British West Indies colonies combined, generating enormous revenue for the French government and enhancing its power.
The labor for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves, accounting in 1783–1791 for a third of the entire Atlantic slave trade. Between 1764 and 1771, the average annual importation of slaves varied between 10,000 and 15,000; by 1786 it was about 28,000, and from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year. However, the inability to maintain slave numbers without constant resupply from Africa meant the slave population in 1789 totalled to 500,000, ruled over by a white population that numbered only 32,000. At all times, a majority of slaves in the colony were African-born, as the brutal conditions of slavery and tropical diseases such as yellow fever prevented the population from experiencing growth through natural increase . African culture thus remained strong among slaves to the end of French rule. The folk religion of Vodou commingled Catholic liturgy and ritual with the beliefs and practices of the Vodun religion of Guinea, Congo and Dahomey. Slave traders scoured the Atlantic coast of Africa, and the slaves who arrived came from hundreds of different tribes, their languages often mutually incomprehensible.
To regularize slavery, in 1685 Louis XIV had enacted the code noir, which accorded certain human rights to slaves and responsibilities to the master, who was obliged to feed, clothe and provide for the general well-being of his slaves. The code noir sanctioned corporal punishment but had provisions intended to regulate the administration of punishments. In any event, such protections were often ignored by white colonists. A passage from Henri Christophe's personal secretary, who lived more than half his life as a slave, describes the punishments the slaves of Saint-Domingue received for disobedience by the French colonists:
Thousands of slaves found freedom by fleeing into the mountains, forming communities of maroons and raiding isolated plantations. The most famous was Mackandal, a one-armed slave, originally from the Guinea region of Africa, who escaped in 1751. A Vodou Houngan (priest), he united many of the different maroon bands. For the next six years, he staged successful raids while evading capture by the French. He and his followers reputedly killed more than 6,000 people. He preached a radical vision of destroying white colonization in Saint-Domingue. In 1758, after a failed plot to poison the drinking water of the planters, he was captured and burned alive at the public square in Cap-Français.
Saint-Domingue had the largest and wealthiest free population of color in the Caribbean; they were known as the gens de couleur. The royal census of 1789 counted roughly 25,000 such persons. While many free population of color were former slaves, most members of this class were mulattoes, of mixed French/European and African ancestry. Typically, they were the descendants of the enslaved women and French colonists. As in New Orleans, a system of plaçage developed, in which white men had a kind of common-law marriage with slave or free mistresses, and provided for them with a dowry, sometimes freedom, and often education or apprenticeships for their mixed-race children. Some such descendants of planters inherited considerable property. As their numbers grew, they were made subject to discriminatory colonial legislation. Statutes forbade gens de couleur from taking up certain professions, marrying whites, wearing European clothing, carrying swords or firearms in public, or attending social functions where whites were present.
The regulations did not restrict their purchase of land, and many accumulated substantial holdings and became slaveowners. By 1789, they owned one-third of the plantation property and one-quarter of the slaves of Saint-Domingue. Central to the rise of the gens de couleur planter class was the growing importance of coffee, which thrived on the marginal hillside plots to which they were often relegated. The largest concentration of gens de couleur was in the southern peninsula. This was the last region of the colony to be settled, owing to its distance from Atlantic shipping lanes and its formidable terrain, with the highest mountain range in the Caribbean. In the parish of Jérémie, the free population of color formed the majority of the population. Many lived in Port-au-Prince as well, which became an economic center in the South of the island.
In 1758 white homeowners on Hispaniola began to restrict rights and create laws to exclude mulattoes and blacks, establishing a rigid class system. There were ten black people for every white one. In France, the majority of the Estates General, an advisory body to the King, constituted itself as the National Assembly, made radical changes in French laws, and on 26 August 1789, published the Declaration of the Rights of Man, declaring all men free and equal. The French Revolution shaped the course of the conflict in Saint-Domingue and was at first widely welcomed on the island. At first, wealthy whites saw it as an opportunity to gain independence from France. The elite planters intended to take control of the island and create trade regulations to further their own wealth and power.
Between 1791 and 1804, the leaders François Dominique Toussaint-Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines led the revolution against the slave system established on the island; slavery in Saint-Domingue, along with other Caribbean colonies from the French colonial empire, were the third largest source of income to France. They were inspired by the houngans, sorcerers or priests of Haitian Vodou, Dutty Boukman and François Mackandal.
Léger-Félicité Sonthonax from September 1792 to 1795 was the de facto ruler of Saint-Domingue. He was a French Girondist and abolitionist during the French Revolution who controlled 7,000 French troops in Saint-Domingue during part of the Haitian Revolution. His official title was Civil Commissioner. Within a year of his appointment, his powers were considerably expanded by the Committee of Public Safety. Sonthonax believed that Saint-Domingue's whites, most of whom were of Spanish descent, were royalist or separatist conservatives attached to independence or Spain as a way to preserve the slave plantations. He attacked the military power of the white settlers, and by doing so, he alienated the colonists from the French government. Many gens de couleur, mixed-race residents of the colony, asserted that they could form the military backbone of Saint-Domingue if they were given rights, but Sonthonax rejected this view as outdated in the wake of the August 1791 slave uprising. He believed that Saint-Domingue would need ex-slave soldiers among the ranks of the colonial army if it was to survive. Although he did not originally intend to free the slaves, by October 1793 he ended slavery in order to maintain his own power.
In 1799, the black military leader Toussaint L'Ouverture brought under French rule a law which abolished slavery, and embarked on a program of modernization. He had become master of the whole island.
In November 1799, during the continuing war in Saint-Domingue, Napoleon Bonaparte gained power in France. He passed a new constitution declaring that the colonies would be subject to special laws. Although the colonies suspected this meant the re-introduction of slavery, Napoleon began by confirming Toussaint's position and promising to maintain the abolition. He forbade Toussaint to control the formerly Spanish settlement on the east side of Hispaniola, as that would have given the slave leader a more powerful defensive position. In January 1801, Toussaint and Hyacinthe Moïse invaded the Spanish settlements, taking possession from the Governor, Don Garcia, with few difficulties.
Toussaint promulgated the Constitution of 1801 on 7 July, officially establishing his authority as governor general "for life" over the entire island of Hispaniola and confirming most of his existing policies. Article 3 of the constitution states: "There cannot exist slaves [in Saint-Domingue], servitude is therein forever abolished. All men are born, live and die free and French."
During this time, Bonaparte met with refugee planters; they urged the restoration of slavery in Saint-Domingue, saying it was integral to the colony's profits. He sent an expedition of more than 20,000 men to Saint-Domingue in 1802 to restore French authority.
The French Civil Code of Napoleon affirmed the political and legal equality of all adult men; it established a merit-based society in which individuals advanced in education and employment because of talent rather than birth or social standing. The Civil Code confirmed many of the moderate revolutionary policies of the National Assembly but retracted measures passed by the more radical Convention. The situation of slaves and people of mixed race was not improved.
The Haitian Revolution culminated in the elimination of slavery in Saint-Domingue and the founding of the Haitian republic in the whole of Hispaniola. France was weakened by a British naval blockade, and by the unwillingness of Napoleon to send massive reinforcements. Having sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in April 1803, Napoleon began to lose interest in his failing ventures in the Western Hemisphere.
A minority of state officials and civil servants were exempt from manual labor, including some freed colored Haitians. Many slaves had to work hard to survive, and they became increasingly motivated by their hunger. Consisting mostly of slaves, the population was uneducated and largely unskilled. They had lived under authoritarian control as rural laborers. White residents felt the sting most sharply. While Toussaint, a former privileged slave of a tolerant white master, had felt a certain magnanimity toward whites, Dessalines, a former field slave, despised them. A firm hand was used in resistance to slavery.
Napoleon's troops, under the command of his brother-in-law, General Charles Emmanuel Leclerc, planned to seize control of the island by diplomatic means. They proclaimed peaceful intentions, and kept secret his orders to deport all black officers. Meanwhile, Toussaint was preparing for defense and insuring discipline. This may have contributed to a rebellion against forced labor led by his nephew and top general, Moïse, in October 1801. It was violently repressed, with the result that when the French ships arrived, not all of Saint-Domingue was automatically on Toussaint's side.
For a few months, the island was quiet under Napoleonic rule. But when it became apparent that the French intended to re-establish slavery, because they had done so on Guadeloupe, Dessalines and Pétion switched sides again, in October 1802, and fought against the French.
In late January 1802, while Leclerc sought permission to land at Cap-Français and Christophe held him off, the Vicomte de Rochambeau suddenly attacked Fort-Liberté, effectively quashing the diplomatic option. In November Leclerc died of yellow fever, like much of his army.
His successor, the Vicomte de Rochambeau, fought a brutal campaign. His atrocities helped rally many former French loyalists to the rebel cause. Like other black slaves captured by the French army, Mackandal was burned alive at the stake. The people of Saint-Domingue, mostly black, were hostile toward abuse by the French. The slave population had severe food shortages and brutal forced rural labor. The islanders revolted against their new masters and a state of anarchy ensued, bringing more French troops. The people began a series of attacks on the owners of sugar and coffee plantations. French soldiers from Napoleon were sent in 1802 to quell the revolt in Saint-Domingue. They suffered from seasonal epidemics of Yellow fever and more than half of the French army died of disease. The British naval blockade to France persisted.
Dessalines led the rebellion until its completion, when the French forces were finally defeated in 1803. Whites were slaughtered and massacred wholesale under the rule of Dessalines. The brutality toward whites shocked foreign governments.
The last battle of the Haitian Revolution, the Battle of Vertières, occurred on 18 November 1803, near Cap-Haïtien. When the French withdrew, they had only 7,000 troops left to ship to France.
Haiti did not try to support or aid other slave rebellions because they feared that the great powers would take renewed action against them, as happened a few years later with Spain. After the defeat of the French army, wealthy white owners saw the opportunity to preserve their political power and plantations. They attacked the town halls that had representatives of the defeated French authority. Elite planters took control of the former Spanish side of the island, asking Spain for a Spanish government and protection by the Spanish army. Later these planters created trade regulations that would further preserve their own wealth and power. Most whites that were left in Haiti proper were killed in a brutal genocide.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American and British authors often referred to Saint-Domingue period as "Santo Domingo" or "San Domingo.":2 This led to confusion with the earlier Spanish colony, and later the contemporary Spanish colony established at Santo Domingo during the colonial period; in particular, in political debates on slavery previous to the American Civil War, "San Domingo" was used to express fears of Southern whites of a slave rebellion breaking out in their own region. Today, the former Spanish possession contemporary with the early period of the French colony corresponds mostly with the Dominican Republic, whose capital is Santo Domingo. The name of Saint-Domingue was changed to Hayti (Haïti) when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of all Hispaniola from the French in 1804. Like the name Haiti itself, Saint-Domingue may be used to refer to all of Hispaniola, or the western part in the French colonial period, while the Spanish version Hispaniola or Santo Domingo is often used to refer to the Spanish colonial period or the Dominican nation.
The Blockade of Saint-Domingue was a naval campaign fought during the first months of the Napoleonic Wars, in which a series of British Royal Navy squadrons blockaded the French-held ports of Cap Français and Môle-Saint-Nicolas on the Northern coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue, shortly to become Haiti following the conclusion of the Haitian Revolution on 1 January 1804. In the summer of 1803, when war broke out between the United Kingdom and the French Consulate, Saint-Domingue had been almost completely overrun by Haitian forces under the command of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. In the north of the country, the French forces were isolated in the two large ports of Cap Français and Môle-Saint-Nicolas and a few smaller settlements, all supplied by a French naval force based primarily at Cap Français.
At the outbreak of war on 18 May 1803, the Royal Navy immediately despatched a squadron under Sir John Duckworth from Jamaica to cruise in the region, seeking to eliminate communication between the French outposts and to capture or destroy the French warships based in the colony. On 28 June, the squadron encountered a French convoy from Les Cayes off Môle-Saint-Nicolas, capturing one ship although the other escaped. Two days later an independently sailing French frigate was chased down and captured in the same waters. On 24 July another British squadron intercepted the main French squadron from Cap Français, which was attempting to break past the blockade and reach France. The British, led by Commodore John Loring gave chase, but one French ship of the line and a frigate escaped. Another ship of the line was trapped against the coast and captured after coming under fire from Haitian shore batteries. The remainder of the squadron was forced to fight two more actions on their return to Europe, but did eventually reach the Spanish port of Corunna.
On 3 November, the frigate HMS Blanche captured a supply schooner near Cap Français, and by the end of the month the garrison was starving, agreeing terms with Dessalines that permitted them to safely evacuate provided they had left the port by 1 December. Commodore Loring however refused the French permission to sail. The French commander Rochambeau procrastinated until the last possible moment, but eventually was forced to surrender to the British commander. One of Rochambeau's ships was almost wrecked while leaving the harbour, but was saved by a British lieutenant acting alone, who not only rescued the 900 people on board, but also refloated the ship. At Môle-Saint-Nicolas, General Louis de Noailles refused to surrender and instead sailed to Havana, Cuba in a fleet of small vessels on 3 December, but was intercepted and mortally wounded by a Royal Navy frigate. The few remaining French-held towns in Saint-Domingue surrendered soon afterwards, and on 1 January 1804 the new independent nation of Haiti was declared.Daniel Johnson (pirate)
Daniel Johnson (1629–1675) was an English buccaneer who, serving under buccaneers as Moyse Van Vin and Pierre le Picard, sailed against the Spanish during the late 17th century becoming known among the Spanish as "Johnson the Terror". There is little record of his career aside from a single body of work, Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography (1887), suggesting he may be a fictional character.Dominique You
Dominique You or Youx (born Frederic You or Youx, c. 1775 – November 15, 1830) was a privateer, soldier, and politician.Era de Francia
In the history of the Dominican Republic, the period of Era de Francia ("Era of France") occurred in 1795 when France acquired the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, annexed it into Saint-Domingue and briefly came to acquire the whole island of Hispaniola by the way of the Treaty of Basel, allowing Spain to cede the eastern colony as a consequence of the French Revolutionary Wars.
During this time, it was also referred to as the French Santo Domingo.Free people of color
In the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, free people of color (French: gens de couleur libres; Spanish: gente libre de color) were people of mixed African and European descent who were not enslaved. The term arose in the French colonies, including La Louisiane and settlements on Caribbean islands, such as Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Guadeloupe, and Martinique, where a distinct group of free people of color developed. Freed African slaves were included in the term affranchis, but historically they were considered as distinct from the free people of color. In these territories and major cities, particularly New Orleans, and those cities held by the Spanish, a substantial third class of primarily mixed-race, free people developed. These colonial societies classified mixed-race people in a variety of ways, generally related to visible features and to the proportion of African ancestry. Racial classifications were numerous in Latin America.
The term gens de couleur was commonly used in France's West Indian colonies prior to the abolition of slavery, where it was a short form of gens de couleur libres (French: [ʒɑ̃ də kulœʁ libʁ], "free people of color"). It referred specifically to free people of mixed race, primarily African and European.In the Thirteen Colonies settled by the British, later to become the United States, the term free negro was often used to cover the same class of people – those who were legally free and visibly of ethnic African descent. Many were people of mixed race, freed because of relation to their master or other whites. By the late eighteenth century, the Upper South included many slaves of mixed race. Among the most well-known is Sally Hemings, who was a slave held by Thomas Jefferson and considered his concubine. She was three-quarters white, and a half-sister to his late wife. Their four surviving Hemings children were born into slavery because of her status, and were seven-eighths white. As adults, three passed into white society and increasingly married white in later generations.Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution (French: Révolution haïtienne [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ ajisjɛ̃n]) was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign nation of Haiti. It began on 22 August 1791, and ended in 1804 with the former colony's independence. It involved blacks, mulattoes, French, Spanish, and British participants—with the ex-slave Toussaint L'Ouverture emerging as Haiti's most charismatic hero. It was the only slave uprising that led to the founding of a state which was both free from slavery, and ruled by non-whites and former captives. It is now widely seen as a defining moment in the history of racism in the Atlantic World.
Its effects on the institution of slavery were felt throughout the Americas. The end of French rule and the abolition of slavery in the former colony was followed by a successful defense of the freedoms they won, and, with the collaboration of free persons of color, their independence from white Europeans. It represents the largest slave uprising since Spartacus's unsuccessful revolt against the Roman Republic nearly 1,900 years earlier. It challenged long-held European beliefs about alleged black inferiority and about enslaved persons' capacity to achieve and maintain their own freedom. The rebels' organizational capacity and tenacity under pressure inspired stories that shocked and frightened slave owners in the hemisphere.Jacobin (politics)
A Jacobin (French pronunciation: [ʒakɔbɛ̃]) was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary political movement that was the most famous political club during the French Revolution (1789–99). The club was so called because of the Dominican convent in Paris in the Rue Saint-Jacques (Latin: Jacobus) where they originally met.
Today, the terms Jacobin and Jacobinism are used in a variety of senses. In France, Jacobin now generally indicates a supporter of a centralized republican state and strong central government powers and/or supporters of extensive government intervention to transform society. Jacobin is sometimes used in Britain as a pejorative for radical, left-wing revolutionary politics (English: ), especially when it exhibits dogmatism and violent repression.Laurens de Graaf
Laurens Cornelis Boudewijn de Graaf (c. 1653, Dordrecht, Dutch Republic – 24 May 1704, Cap-Français, Saint-Domingue) was a Dutch pirate, mercenary, and naval officer in the service of the French colony of Saint-Domingue during the late 17th and early 18th century.
He was also known as Laurencillo or Lorencillo or simply El Griffe (Spanish), Sieur de Baldran or simply de Graff (French) and Gesel van de West (Dutch; "Scourge of the West"). Henry Morgan, the governor of Jamaica, characterized him as "a great and mischievous pirate". De Graaf was described as tall, blond, mustached and handsome. Some Spanish thought he was the Devil in person.List of colonial governors of Saint-Domingue
Since 1659, Saint-Domingue (now the Republic of Haiti), was a French colony, recognized by Spain on September 20, 1697. From September 20, 1793 to October 1798 parts of the island were under British occupation.Lycée Français de Saint Domingue
Lycée Français de Saint Domingue is a French international school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.It serves levels primaire (primary school) through lycée (senior high school).Léger-Félicité Sonthonax
Léger-Félicité Sonthonax (7 March 1763 – 23 July 1813) was a French abolitionist and Jacobin before joining the Girondist party, which emerged in 1791. During the French Revolution, he controlled 7,000 French troops in Saint-Domingue during part of the Haitian Revolution. His official title was Civil Commissioner. From September 1792 to December 1795, he was the de facto ruler of Saint-Domingue's non-slave populace. Within a year of his appointment, his powers were considerably expanded by the Committee of Public Safety. He was recalled in 1795 largely due to the resurgence of conservative politics in France. Sonthonax believed that Saint-Domingue's whites were royalists or separatists, so he attacked the military power of the white settlers and by doing so alienated the colonial settlers from their government. Many gens de couleur (mixed-race residents of the colony) asserted that they could form the military backbone of Saint-Domingue if they were given rights, but Sonthonax rejected this view as outdated in the wake of the August 1791 slave uprising. He believed that Saint-Domingue would need ex-slave soldiers among the ranks of the colonial army if it was to survive. On August 1793, he proclaimed freedom for all slaves in the north province. His critics allege that he was forced into ending slavery in order to maintain his own power.Marabou (ethnicity)
Marabou (French: marabout) is a term of Haitian origin denoting multiracial admixture. The term describes the offspring of a Haitian person of mixed race: Europeans, Africans, Taíno Indian and South Asians (East Indians) ancestry.
The Marabou label dates to the colonial period of Haiti’s history, meaning the offspring of a mullato and a griffe person. However, Médéric-Louis-Elie Moreau de Saint-Méry, in his 3-volume work on the colony describes Marabous as the product of the union of a black and a quadroon, he says nothing concerning East Indians. The East Indian association with that term is probably due solely to the resemblance between dark-skinned Indians and marabous. Describing Marabous as an ethnic group is a stretch since the term applies to any person of mixed heritage with dark skin and straight or wavy hair. Marabous are no more an ethnic group than grimeaus, mulattoes, quadroons, or octoroons are; these terms merely describe the different phenotypes of mixed-race people.Peace of Basel
The Peace of Basel of 1795 consists of three peace treaties involving France during the French Revolution (represented by François de Barthélemy).
The first was with Prussia (represented by Karl August von Hardenberg) on 5 April;
The second was with Spain (represented by Domingo d'Yriarte) on 22 July, ending the War of the Pyrenees; and
The third was with the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel (represented by Friedrich Sigismund Waitz von Eschen) on 28 August, concluding the stage of the French Revolutionary Wars against the First Coalition.Pierre Lafitte
Pierre Lafitte (1770–1821) was a privateer in the Gulf of Mexico and smuggler in the early 19th century. He also ran a blacksmith shop in New Orleans, his legitimate business. Pierre was the historically less-well-known older brother of Jean Lafitte. While not as much of a sailor as his brother, he was the public face of the Lafitte operation, and was known for his wit and charm, in addition to his handling of the sale of smuggled goods.
Pierre Lafitte also spied for Spain and commanded artillery units. He died in 1821 near Dzilam de Bravo in the Yucatán Peninsula.Pierre le Grand (pirate)
Pierre Le Grand (French: Peter the Great) was a French buccaneer of the 17th century. He is known to history only from one source, Alexandre Exquemelin's Buccaneers of America, and may be imaginary.Saint-Domingue expedition
The Saint-Domingue expedition was a French military expedition sent by Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul, under his brother-in-law Charles Victor Emmanuel Leclerc in an attempt to regain French control of the Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue on the island of Hispaniola, and curtail the measures of independence taken by the former slave Toussaint Louverture. It landed in December 1801 and, after initial success, ended in a French defeat at the battle of Vertières and the departure of French troops in December 1803.Slavery in Haiti
Slavery in Haiti started with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island in 1492. The practice was devastating to the native population. Following the indigenous Tainos' near decimation from forced labor, disease and war, the Spanish, under advisement of the Catholic priest Bartolomeu de las Casas and with the blessing of the Catholic church, began engaging in earnest in the kidnapped and forced labor of enslaved Africans. During the French colonial period beginning in 1625, the economy of Haiti (then known as Saint-Domingue) was based on slavery, and the practice there was regarded as the most brutal in the world. The Haitian Revolution of 1804, the only successful slave revolt in human history, precipitated the end of slavery not only in Saint-Domingue, but in all French colonies. However, several Haitian leaders following the revolution employed forced labor, believing a plantation-style economy was the only way for Haiti to succeed, and building fortifications to safeguard against attack by the French. During the U.S. occupation between 1915 and 1934, the U.S. military forced Haitians to work building roads for defense against Haitian resistance fighters.
Unpaid labor is still a practice in Haiti. As many as half a million children are unpaid domestic servants called restavek, who routinely suffer physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, human trafficking, including child trafficking is a significant problem in Haiti; trafficked people are brought into, out of, and through Haiti for forced labor, including sex trafficking. The groups most at risk include the poor, women, children, the homeless, and people migrating across the border with the Dominican Republic. The devastating earthquake in 2010 displaced many, rendering them homeless, isolated, and supremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. The chaos following the quake also distracted authorities and hindered efforts to stop trafficking. The government has taken steps to prevent and stop trafficking, ratifying human rights conventions and enacting laws to protect the vulnerable, but enforcement remains difficult. The U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 2 Watchlist" in 2017.Toussaint Louverture
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (French: [fʁɑ̃swa dɔminik tusɛ̃ luvɛʁtyʁ] 9 May 1743 – 7 April 1803), also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was a leader of the growing resistance. His military and political acumen saved the gains of the first Black insurrection in November 1791. He first fought for the Spanish against the French; then for France against Spain and Great Britain; and finally, he fought in behalf of Saint-Domingue in the era of Napoleonic France. He helped transform the slave insurgency into a revolutionary movement. By 1800 Saint-Domingue, the most prosperous French slave colony of the time, had become the first free colonial society to have explicitly rejected race as the basis of social ranking.
Although Louverture did not sever ties with France in 1800, he created a de facto autonomous colony. The colony's constitution proclaimed him governor for life even against Napoleon Bonaparte's wishes. He died betrayed before the final and most violent stage of the armed conflict. However, his achievements set the grounds for the Black army's absolute victory and for Jean-Jacques Dessalines to declare the sovereign state of Haiti in January 1804. Louverture's prominent role in the Haitian success over colonialism and slavery had earned him the admiration of friends and detractors alike.Toussaint Louverture began his military career as a leader of the 1791 slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue; he was by then a free man and a Jacobin. Initially allied with the Spaniards of neighboring Santo Domingo (modern Dominican Republic), Louverture switched allegiance to the French when the new government abolished slavery. He gradually established control over the whole island and used political and military tactics to gain dominance over his rivals. Throughout his years in power, he worked to improve the economy and security of Saint-Domingue. Worried about the economy, which had stalled, he restored the plantation system using paid labour, negotiated trade treaties with the UK and the United States, and maintained a large and well-disciplined army.After defeating leaders among the free people of color, in 1801, he promulgated an autonomist constitution for the colony, which named him as Governor-General for Life. In 1802 he was forced to resign by forces sent by Napoleon Bonaparte to restore French authority in the former colony. He was deported to France, where he died in 1803. Suffering the loss of two-thirds of their forces from yellow fever, the French withdrew from Saint-Domingue that year. The Haitian Revolution continued under Louverture's lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared independence on 1 January 1804. That year he ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre, in which many white people and free people of color were murdered.War of Knives
The War of Knives (French: Guerre des couteaux), also known as the War of the South, was a civil war from June 1799 to July 1800 between the Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture, a black ex-slave who controlled the north of Saint-Domingue (modern-day Haiti), and his adversary André Rigaud, a mixed-race free person of color who controlled the south. Louverture and Rigaud fought over de facto control of the French colony of Saint-Domingue during the war. Their conflict followed their successful expulsion of British forces from the colony as part of the Haitian Revolution. The war resulted in Toussaint taking control of the entirety of Saint-Domingue, and Rigaud fleeing into exile.