All Notes from Stoddard (and Pages) Unless Otherwise Noted


P. 153 ff. (Check this out. There is a problem. There was a law of March 8, 1790 (Waxman) which said all free men can vote and have citizen rights. Now, whites rejected this. Was this the Age affair?)

Task:  to enforce the law of Sept. 24, 1791 that the fate of the mulattos was in the hands of the Colonial Commission.

Chosen in the summer of 1791, didn't depart France until Oct.

The commission were moderate radicals: Opposed immediate end of slavery, but favored mulatto equality.


  1. Mirbeck (a non-entity) Returned to France early.
  2. Roume (honest and upright, though dogmatic and weak.)
  3. Saint-Leger (venal) He went to Port-au-Prince Jan. 29, 1792. April 9 he took refuge on a warship and sailed to France March 30.

Jean-Francois and Biassou offered to force the slaves back to work in exchange for their freedom. But, the colonists subverted this and friction began between the assembly and the commission.


P. 183 Following

They were all Jacobins.

  1. Polverel (best of three. Fanatical, but honest and sincere.) Oct. 29, 1792 he sailed with Ailhaud for the West. While in the West he accused Sonthonax of an arbitrary dictatorship. Stoddard seems angry with Sonthonax for his pro-mulatto stance.
  2. Sonthonax (sinister figure "worst traits" of Jacobin)

    Sonthonax was an obscure country lawyer from Savoyard border.

    "A mere mouther of phrases, corrupt in both public and private life, his one real talent lay in a certain sly ability to trim with the times which was to bring him safe through the storms of the Revolution."

    Stoddard condemns Sonthonax for his ultra-radical stance when Sonthonax wrote:

    "The ownership of land both at San Domingo and the other colonies belongs in reality to the negroes. It is they who have earned it with the sweat of their brows, and only by usurpation do others now enjoy the fruits."

    However, upon arrival Sonthonax had given a speech in which he supported slavery and claimed that on the colonial commission could change it.

    In April Sonthonax went to P-a-P and broke a Royalist rebellion. April 13, 1793.

  3. Ailhaud (played no part in coming events) Oct. 29, 1792, with Polverel, he sailed for West. By mid-Jan. he returned to France.

    The Commission shipped Governor Blanchard off to France. He was guillotined! April, 1793. Former Commissioner, Roume was also shipped off.

    General Rochambeau came from Martinique where he had been repulsed by Royalists. The Commissioners made him governor-general.

    On Feb. 1, 1793 France declared war on England. Galbaud was sent to San Domingo on May 7, 1793 as governor-general for the war effort.


    Once Toussaint had things in order, France sent a Third Civil Commission to look after the interests of France in San Domingo. The members were:

    1. Sonthonax
    2. Raymond (a mulatto)
    3. Leblance (formerly a terrorist)
    4. Giraud (weak)
    5. Roume (who was in control of the Spanish section) + General Rochambeau came with troops to aid them.

    Sonthonax elevated Toussaint (alienating Rigaud), and exiled Villate. Soon Sonthonax sent Rochambeau back to France.

    Rigaud rebelled, took aid from the U.S. and reestablished slavery in the South.

    Sonthonax ruled. Leblanc died suspiciously; Giraud returned to France. Raymond stayed quiet and Roume was in the D.R.

    Laveaux was the sole French white with power. Sonthonax had him elected deputy to France. But, then Toussaint had Sonthonax similarly elected and Toussaint ruled.


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