Toussaint Louverture

Slave Rebellion (Haitian Revolution)

Beginning of Revolution

In 1789, free colored people were inspired by the French Revolution and began to seek expanding their rights. In August 1791, a Vodou ceremony at Bois Caiman marked the start of a major slave rebellion in the North.

Toussaint's Involvement

Initially, Toussaint didn't want any involvement in the Revolution. But after the first few weeks, he sent his family to Spanish Santo Domingo where they would be safe. He joined the forces of Georges Biassou as a doctor for the troops. He commanded a small attachment.

Negotiations with France

In December of that year, Toussaint was involved in negotiations with Blanchelande, the French Governor, for the release of white prisoners and a return to work in exchange for a ban on the use of the whip. The slaves would also be granted an extra work day, and a handful of leaders would be granted freedom. When Blanchelande rejected the offer, Toussaint was influential in preventing the massacre of the prisoners.

“In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the trunk of the tree of the black liberty in St-Domingue-it will spring back form the roots, for they are numerous and deep.”

- Toussaint Louverture


Saying this, Toussaint meant that overthrowing him would not rid the rebellion of Saint Domingue. The rebellion would only grow back.

Importance

Represented both the anti-slave movement and anti-colonism. Haiti became free of slavery because of him setting a precedent for the world. Many third world countries would also be inspired with what would be first successful resistance for non-europeans against imperial Europe
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