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8559: Re: 8545: Question on NY Times Essay on War of Independence: Slavin (fwd)
From: Sara Pilling <email@example.com>
Patrick et al -
In the new book on John Adams, there is only one reference
specifically to Haiti
Background - 1798 US was expecting to go to war against France
but Congress refused to declare war...the idea was to ";liberate"
Spanish Florida and Spanish America, the us and Britain combining
To quote, "At the Navy Department and the President's House that
December , ...Adams, Gerry [Elbridge Gerry], McHenry,
Secretary of the Navy Stoddart and others gathered about large
maps of the West Indies. Four squadrons, twenty-one ships in
total, virtually the whole of the american naval force, were now
assigned to the Caribbean. [The commander was John Barry].
The fleet was to cruise the Lesser Antilles, from St. Kitts to
Tobago. San Domingo (Haiti) was to have increasing importance.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the slave rebellion on San
Domingo, had written to Adams to suggest they become allies.
Desperate for food for his starving troops, Toussaint wanted the
american embargo lifted form the former French colony. In effect,
he wanted recognition of the black republic and Adams was
interested, Thus, in December, a representative from Toussaint,
Joseph Bunel, dined with Adams, marking the first time a man of
African descent was the dinner guest of an american President.
American ships would be welcome and protected in all San Domingo
ports, Adams was told. John Quincey has earlier written his
father to say he hoped something could be done for Toussaint,
that he wished to see San Domingo "free and independent." And
with Secretary Pickering [Secty of State] strongly of the same
mind, Adams replied promptly. Commodore Barry was instructed to
show himself "with the greatest part of the fleet at Cape
Francois to Genl. Toussaint, who has a great desire to see some
ships of war belonging to America." And the issue of defacto
recognition, "Toussaint's clause," would go before Congress. "
No mention of policy, except that it appears that Adams was
pro-Toussaint Louverture. Hope that helps.