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9034: 8874: Re: 8869: Ft. Liberte info requested (fwd)

From: madison bell <mbell@goucher.edu>

Fort Liberte was known as Fort Dauphin until the French Revolution reached 
Haiti.   During the Haitian Revolution it was the theater of a big 
massacre-- in 1794 the Spanish, who then occupied the town (which is near 
the border) had invited a lot of French planter refugees back to the colony 
with the idea that they would fight to regain their lands from the French 
Jacobins.   For reasons never entirely clear, they instead turned these 
colonists over to a large black army under the command of Jean-Francois, 
who massacred all of them, about 800 people.

In 1802 Fort Liberte was the first landfall of the French expedition under 
command of Leclerc.  A division under command of Rochambeau, later 
notorious for his creative cruelty, attacked the town, overcame resistance, 
and put the garrisons of the forts to the sword.  This happened a couple of 
days before Christophe burned Cap Haitien to deny it to the French; 
Christophe had certainly been informed of events at Fort Liberte and 
probably Toussaint Louverture as well.  I.e. it made a peaceful resolution 
of the situation impossible.  Such a result would have been unlikely 
anyway, but the Fort Liberte episode supported Louverture's argument, which 
he maintained to his death, that Leclerc was wholly responsible for the 
hostilities, since he launched this attack before making any attempt to 
present his credentials properly.