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a842: Toussaint Louverture (fwd)
From: Joe Allen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re: a833 Answer to Max Manigat
Max Manigat asked me to " interpret Toussaint's refusal to hand over the
ports of St-Domingue to the 1802 Leclerc expedition."
I am not sure the question of "handing over ports" ever came up; not
this way. Let's put the Leclerc expedition in context:
From July 8, 1801 when Toussaint accepted the constitution (his) to
Feb, 12 1802 when he received his only correspondence from Napoleon a lot
The signature of the preliminary articles of the treaty of Amiens on
August 1st , 1801 was an important event whereby England and France were
settling their scores.
According to Madiou (tome II, p158) "Toussaint also learned that a
report by counsel Thibeaudeau announced the reestablishment of slavery in
Martinique, Cayenne and a strong administration would submit La Martinique
and St-Domingue to the will of France." Right after the treaty of Amiens,
general Nugent the governor of Jamaica cancels all conventions Toussaint had
signed with England, which infuriated the general who felt betrayed by the
It was widely believed that the primary goal of the Expedition
was the reestablishment of slavery in Saint-Domingue. Madiou again citing
Fauche" It was decided that after the conquest , slavery would be maintained
according to the laws and rules in effect before 1789; "la traite des noirs"
and their importation would occur according to the existing laws"
On February 1, 1802, Toussaint was in Samana (now Dom Rep.) when the
first of seventy ships approached. He reportedly said "Friends, we are
doomed. All of
France has come. Let us show ourselves worthy of our freedom."
When Rochambeau reached Fort-Liberte, he attacked right away and even
killed those who had surrendered, such as Barthelemy and his troops. He is
even reported to have engaged in mass executions of non-combatants.
All these reports force us to conclude that Toussaint could only have
reacted to the military assault or surrendered. He chose to fight.
As to the nationality of Toussaint, since he was born on the island and
was even a rightful landowner, he was to become Haitian after the
independence. But he died a French citizen. Before the independence, all
generals including Toussaint, Bellair ,Dessalines, Christophe and Petion
were French citizens and part of the French armies.
"Are we not also French soldiers and as such obliged to obey the French
government of which we depend". This is an excerpt of a joint letter
written by Bellair, Dessalines Christophe and Clerveaux referring to
Toussaint's meeting with Leclerc during which Toussaint swore fidelity to
mother land. (from Alain Turnier's, Quand la nation demande des comptes).
Joseph Allen DDS