Revolution and Abolition in Haiti, 1791-1865

document collections

INFLUENTIAL CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS OF THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION, 1791-1816

The first collection contains two groups of documents:  first, seminal histories of the Haitian Revolution that served as important references in the American slavery debate; second, a small number of published accounts, largely firsthand, that provided the American public with periodic glimpses of the Haitian Revolution during its thirteen-year span.  According to a recent study of the Revolution's influence on the United States, two early eighteenth century publications served as the bases for the "horrific" and "heroic" interpretations of the event that prevailed during the antebellum era:  An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo by Bryan Edwards and An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford, respectively.(1)  Edwards's narrative portrayed the Haitian Revolution as an ignoble, savage event that was incited by radical abolitionists and that left in its wake a "triumphant anarchy" with a dismal future.(2)  Generally speaking, it became a reference point for Americans who opposed the antislavery movement and who believed that emancipation was either impractical or required a cautious, gradual approach.(3)  Rainsford's account suggested that slavery had brought about its own demise by "undermining public virtue" and that the Revolution had created an opportunity for great future prosperity, provided that Haiti's new leaders continued to adhere to the Revolution's Enlightenment principles.(4)  Though Rainsford blunted his antislavery bias with  heavily qualified language and, at one point, acknowledged abolitionism as a catalyst of the Revolution, his version fit well with antislavery writings that argued the incompatibility of slavery and American ideals.(5)  Both accounts were persistently influential during the antebellum period; however, of the two, the Edwards document was the only one that appeared as a published American edition.(6)

The second group of documents begins with three communications from Haiti that were published in The Pennsylvania Gazette during the first years of the Revolution.   One of the multiple accounts aggregated in "Firsthand Accounts of Revolution" (1791) draws a threatening parallel between the Haitian Revolution and American slavery.  In careful language, it bases a plea for American assistance on the notion that the United States may one day find itself in a predicament similar to that currently facing Haiti.  The Pennsylvania Gazette documents are followed by two general accounts published in The Literary Magazine and American Register in 1804, the final year of the Revolution.  Both provide narratives of the latter phase during which Napoleon's army reinvaded and also offer assessments of Haiti's condition at the Revolution's endpoint.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION AND POST-REVOLUTIONARY HAITI ON BLACK EMIGRATION MOVEMENTS, 1791-1865

The second collection demonstrates ways in which the Haitian Revolution generated support for programs of black emigration, frequently referred to as "colonization" during the antebellum era.  The Haitian Revolution's early influence came during the 1790s and early 1800s when a substantial portion of American antislavery advocates believed that emancipation and black emigration should be pursued in concert.  For many within this group, the shocking imagery of the Haitian Revolution reinforced the notion that slavery threatened American progress, prompting some to promote antislavery action with increased vigor.(7)  In 1797, for instance, Thomas Jefferson cited the contemporary violence in Haiti as inspiration for his desire to explore ways in which a combined plan of emancipation and emigration could be implemented:  see "Letter from Thomas Jefferson to St. George."  Further evidence of the Revolution's influence on Jefferson appears in the "Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the U.S. Minister to Great Britain" (1802) in which he indicates that the event provoked the Virginia legislature to consider mandating emigration for slaves who had participated in uprisings or conspiracies.  At the core of both documents is an intense fear that the violence of Haiti will surface in the United States if something is not done to address the institution of slavery.  This sentiment retained its potency over the next fourteen years, as indicated by Serious Remonstrances Addressed to the Citizens of the Northern States by Thomas Branagan (1805), and most likely informed the establishment in 1816 of the American Colonization Society (ACS).  Though this institution's explicit purpose was to facilitate the voluntary emigration of free blacks back to their "homeland," some of its leaders hoped to use emigration as a means of promoting gradual emancipation at the grassroots level.  

During the period between 1817 and 1830, when ACS membership grew substantially and interest in black emigration spread throughout the United States, advocates of combining emancipation and emigration continued to draw inspiration from the Haitian Revolution.  The document "Two Articles from the African Repository:  'By Delaware' and 'Memorial of the Kentucky Colonization Society'" (1830) evidences this point.  The African Repository was the ACS's official journal.  The "Article in Niles' Weekly Register:  'Emancipation of the Blacks'" (1818) demonstrates this ongoing influence as well with its assertion that emancipation without emigration will lead either to racial amalgamation or a race war comparable to that which occurred in Haiti.  Documents such as "Article from Niles' Weekly Register: Reprint from a New York Newspaper" (1834), "Excerpt from 'Memorial to the Legislature of Virginia'" (1849) and "Excerpt from Cotton is King" by David Christy (1856) illustrate another way in which the Haitian Revolution supported the belief in combining emancipation and emigration.  The authors of these documents asserted emigration as a means of avoiding the societal degradation that they believed emancipation had precipitated in Haiti.  In other words, they saw the emigration of emancipated slaves as a means of preserving, and potentially accelerating, the political, economic and social progress of the early American republic.  

During the early 1830s, when opposition to the ACS expanded under the auspices of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), individuals like William Jay attacked this argument and its causal premise.  In his An Inquiry into the Character and Tendency of the American Colonization, and American Anti-Slavery Societies (1835), he asserted that emancipation brought many political, social and economic benefits to Haiti, and thus its example argued for emancipation, not against it.   In addition to Jay's publication, similar documents can be found in the document collection entitled:  Post-Revolutionary Haiti as an Emancipation Case Study, 1804-1865.  Though most do not directly address black emigration, several base their defenses of emancipation on assertions of Haiti's significant advances since abolishing slavery.

NOTE:  For an extensive analysis of Haiti's influence on American black emigration movements, see Module 2:  Black Emigration Movements - Foreign Support and Opposition, 1787-1865.

THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION AND AMERICAN ATTITUDES TOWARD BLACK INSURRECTION, 1791-1865

The Haitian Revolution substantially and irreversibly heightened American sensitivity to the risk of black insurrection(8), whether in the form of localized slave uprising or widespread revolution against black oppression.  Published accusations of connections between the Revolution and slave uprisings - such as the Gabriel Prosser Conspiracy of 1800, the Denmark Vesey Conspiracy of 1822 and the Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831 - exacerbated this causal effect.(9)  For the many writers and orators involved in the American slavery debate, the Haitian Revolution served as a case study through which the causes of black insurrection could be analyzed.(10)  Not surprisingly, conflicting interpretations arose.  The documents included in this collection reflect three general viewpoints.  The first is that abolitionism incites violence by exhorting slaves to reclaim their natural rights at any cost, a perspective most often put forth by slavery's defenders and apologists.  See, for example, "'Preface to the First Edition' of An Historical Survey" (1806) by Bryan Edwards and The Present State of Hayti (1828) by James Franklin.  This perspective was also voiced by certain antislavery conservatives who criticized abolitionists for promoting the antislavery cause without regard for their actions' potentially incendiary effects:  see, for example, "Chapter 2 of An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti" (1805) by Marcus Rainsford and John Taylor's Arator: Being a Series of Agricultural Essays, Practical and Political (1814).

The second is that emancipation enables former slaves to seek retributive violence against their former masters, a viewpoint also favored by slavery's defenders and apologists.  See, for example, "Excerpt from An Historical Survey" (1806) by Bryan Edwards, "Remarks Delivered in the House of Representatives" (1848) by T.H. Bayly and "Refuge of Oppression.  Massacre the Natural Result of the 'Proclamation'" (1863). 

The third is that slavery's cruel and dehumanizing nature inevitably provokes violent insurrection, a perspective typically put forth by antislavery advocates.  According to this interpretation, slaves come to see revolt or suicide as the only means of ending their suffering.  Antislavery leaders and institutions advanced various formulations of this argument in order to counter the two previously described viewpoints.(11)  For defenses of abolitionism, see, for example, Elizur Wright's "The Horrors of St. Domingo" (1836), Wilson Armistead's "A Glance at the Subsequent History of St Domingo, or Hayti" (1848) and "On Which Side is Mercy" (1863).  For documents aimed at diminishing societal fears of emancipation, see, for example, Oration in Honor of Universal Emancipation (1834) by David Lee Child, "St. Domingo. The Misrepresentation" (1848) and the "Second Excerpt from The Rejected Stone" (1862) written by Moncure Conway.  Antislavery advocates also used this argument as an offensive weapon by portraying slavery as a large and growing threat to the safety of American citizens.  In documents such as  "Speech of a Pastor from Potsdam, NY" (1827), "Immediate Emancipation" (1838), "The Danger to the South" (1855) and "The Lesson of the Hour" (1859), antislavery advocates invoked memories of the "horrors of St. Domingo" in an attempt to present emancipation as an urgent necessity.

POST-REVOLUTIONARY HAITI AS AN EMANCIPATION CASE STUDY, 1804-1865

Just as the Haitian Revolution supplied the American slavery debate with a relevant and useful case study of black insurrection, it also created an importance reference point regarding the potential effects of emancipation on America's social, economic and political systems.(12)  For most of the antebellum era, uncertainty on this subject created significant and persistent resistance to emancipation, not just from slavery's defenders and apologists but also from certain conservative segments of the antislavery movement.   For staunch abolitionists, it posed a question to be answered:  Could the population of ex-slaves - a group that antislavery rhetoric acknowledged as abused and dehumanized - be smoothly and constructively integrated into American society?  As with the debate regarding insurrection, each faction found justification for its viewpoint in Haitian history.  Slavery's defenders and apologists tended to see failure in all corners of Haiti - economic decline, increased poverty,  oppressive government - and frequently attributed these effects to emancipation.  See, for example, excerpts from The South Vindicated from the Treason and Fanaticism of the Northern Abolitionists (1836) by William Drayton, A Defence of Slavery as it Exists in the United States (1846) by Matthew Estes and An Essay on Liberty and Slavery (1857) by Albert Bledsoe.  In certain cases, such as "Excerpt from The Present State of Hayti" (1828) by James Franklin and "Free Negroes in Hayti" (1859) published in De Bow's Review, the argument went even farther, asserting that free laborers in Haiti had become worse off than West Indian or American slaves. 

Some moderate antislavery advocates cited Haiti's degraded post-Revolutionary condition as evidence of the need to proceed cautiously and gradually with any emancipation program.  Two documents in the collection illustrate this perspective:  "Article in Niles' Weekly Register:  Reprint from the New York Commercial Advertiser" (1834) and "Article in De Bow's Review:  'Effects of Emancipation'" (1855).  The first is a reprint from a periodical characterized by Niles' Weekly Register's editorial staff as having an antislavery leaning and the second is a letter to De Bow's Review from a northerner who ideologically opposed slavery.

In contrast to the pessimism of these groups, antislavery advocates generally offered examples of social, economic and/or political progress in post-Revolutionary Haiti as evidence of emancipation's salutary effects and as proof that ex-slaves could become productive, civic-minded members of a republican society.  See, for example, "Article in Niles' Weekly Register: 'Independence of Hayti'" (1822), "Article in The Colored American: 'A Colored Community'" (1837) "A Glance at the Subsequent History of St Domingo, or Hayti" (1848) by Wilson Armistead and "Article in The Liberator: Speeches at Antislavery Meeting" (1859), which includes addresses by Reverend M.B. Bird and Wendell Phillips.

SECTIONAL TENSION REGARDING THE RECOGNITION OF HAITI AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION, 1804-1865

The end of the Haitian Revolution in 1804 established Haiti as an independent black nation.  The United States, however, did not formally recognize Haiti's national status until 1862 in a resolution that also recognized the status of another black nation:  Liberia, a former colony of the ACS.  A primary reason for this delay was that the recognition of Haiti had great implications for the American slavery debate.(13)  This document collection illustrates these implications and suggests that the debate over Haiti's national status, though not a core element of slavery discourse, highlighted some of the essential tensions between north and south.  The document entitled "Article in Niles' National Register:  'Question of Privilege'" (1842) succinctly establishes this issue's relevance to sectional rivalry.  In it, John Quincy Adams declares: "If they [a Congressional constituent] offer you a petition to recognize the independence of the republic of Hayti, they will be told this is an abolition petition - it's presentation is a criminal thing; it is an act of treason.  Because it is possible some Quashipompo may come here as a public minister; and that would be 'high treason,' according to the gentleman from Kentucky." 

Adams's speech, along with other documents in this collection, indicates that for southern Congressmen, the recognition question carried an implied but dangerous judgment regarding the propriety of American slavery.  From the perspective of slaveholders, recognition would call into question the assertions of racial inferiority that undergirded proslavery arguments.  If the United States publicly acknowledged the capacity of blacks to self-govern, for instance, how could it maintain that several million enslaved blacks lacked the ability to survive outside of the circumscribed bounds of plantation paternalism?   Furthermore, recognition could signal a shift in Congressional sentiment toward favoring emancipation or, even more worrisome to southerners, symbolize a tacit endorsement of the use of violence to overthrow slavery and racial oppression.(14)  The "Article in The Colored American: 'Haiti'" (1838) suggests the prevalence of this latter fear among slaveholders.  In it, Haiti's President Boyer offers assurances to American slaveholders that his country will accept as immigrants any slaves who become uncooperative following Haitian recognition.  The "Article in The Liberator:  'Mr. Grennell's Speech, in the U.S. House...'" (1839) explicitly mentions this fear as well. 

The documents that favor recognition also evidence these fears and indicate that some northern legislators saw Congressional intransigence as strong evidence of a slaveholding ascendancy in American government.(15)  See, for example, "Article in The Colored American: 'Resolutions Adopted by the A.A.S. Society'" (1837), "Article in The Liberator: 'From the Glasgow Argus.  The American Union and Slavery'" (1845), "Article in The North Star: 'Selections. Recognition of the Liberian Republic'" (1849), "Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: Letter to the Editor regarding Haitian Independence" (1855) and "Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: 'The Slave Oligarchy'" (1855).  Two documents that nicely illustrate and contrast the opposing viewpoints on Haitian recognition are the "Article in The Liberator:  'Recognition of Hayti'" (1839) and "Article in The Liberator:  'Mr. Grennell's Speech, in the U.S. House...'" (1839).

Although the remaining documents in this collection are less vitriolic and combative, they further establish this issue's importance to the slavery debate and to American sectionalism.  The two articles from Niles' Weekly Register, "Independence of Hayti" (1822) and "Hayti" (1823), for example, both praise Haiti's post-Revolutionary progress yet take different positions on recognition.  The first, a reprint from another newspaper, looks with optimism toward a near-term shift in American policy, while the second, written by Niles's newspaper staff, asserts this shift as unlikely and characterizes recognition as imprudent considering the strength of anti-black prejudice in the United States.  The two African Repository documents offer insights into the United States government's rationale for ultimately recognizing Haiti.  The document entitled "The President's Message. Liberian Independence" (1861) records Lincoln's publicly stated reasons and the "Notices of Liberian Commissioners" (1862) suggests an additional unstated factor in his decision-making:  the enormous symbolic importance of this issue to the American free black population.

 

Document Collections

Influential Contemporary Accounts of the Haitian Revolution, 1791-1816

Firsthand Accounts of Revolution (August and September 1791) printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette - 1791; describes the brutal violence and pleads for help based on the notion that American slavery may precipitate a comparable future event

Article in The Pennsylvania Gazette: “Agreement between the White Citizens of Port-au-Prince and the Citizens of Color...” - 1791; expands civil rights for free blacks in Port-au-Prince and foreshadows the 1792 act which expands civil rights throughout the colony

Accounts from Cape Francois regarding the Revolution (May 1792) printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette - 1792; indicates that though the colonial government has entertained various emancipation proposals, it remains committed to slavery

Article in The Literary Magazine and American Register: "Picture of St. Domingo" - 1804; firsthand account of the Haitian Revolution

Article in The Literary Magazine and American Register: "A Sketch of the War in St. Domingo" - 1804

An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford (British) - 1805; published in London but influential in the United States (Clavin, p12-13)

An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo by Bryan Edwards (British) - 1806 (1807 London edition; believed to be the same as the 1806 Philadelphia edition); influential account of the Haitian Revolution (Clavin, p11-12; Rugemer, p43)


The Influence of the Haitian Revolution and Post-Revolutionary Haiti on Black Emigration Movements, 1791-1865

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to St. George Tucker, August 28 1797 - 1797; connects the Haitian Revolution with the need for black emigration (colonization)

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the U.S. Minister to Great Britain (Rufus King), July 13 1802 - 1802; connects the instability in the West Indies, an implicit reference to the Haitian Revolution, with the Gabriel Prosser Conspiracy and the need for black emigration (colonization)

Serious Remonstrances Addressed to the Citizens of the Northern States by Thomas Branagan - 1805; an antislavery, pro-colonization document that contains multiple references to the Haitian Revolution

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: "Emancipation of the Blacks" - 1818; letter to the editor that uses the Haitian Revolution to support the idea of black emigration

Two Articles from the African Repository: "By Delaware" and "Memorial of the Kentucky Colonization Society" - 1830; both argue for utilizing free black emigration to avoid the violence of the Haitian Revolution

Article from Niles' Weekly Register: Reprint from a New York Newspaper - 1834; begins “The following, describing the present condition of Hayti…” - cites Haiti's deteriorating condition as evidence of the importance of colonization

Chapters 7-8 from An Inquiry into the...American Colonization, and American Anti-Slavery Societies by William Jay - 1835; argues against the notion that Haiti provides proof that immediate emancipation is unsafe

Excerpt from "Memorial to the Legislature of Virginia" - 1849; pro-colonization argument that uses Haiti as an emancipation case study

Chapter 12 from Cotton is King by David Christy - 1856; asserts the degraded conditions of post-emancipation Haiti and the post-emancipation West Indies as evidence of the need to combine emancipation with a white-led colonization program


The Haitian Revolution and American Attitudes toward Black Insurrection, 1791-1865

Slavery Inconsistent with Justice and Good Policy by David Rice - 1792 (1812 publication); cites contemporary violence in Haiti (see p 6) as evidence of the need for emancipation (from the Kentucky constitutional convention)

Chapter 6 of An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford (British) - 1805; expresses guarded optimism regarding the future of post-Revolutionary Haiti

Chapter 2 of An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford (British) - 1805; acknowledges French abolitionism's causal role in the Haitian Revolution but does not criticize it

Discussion of Causes of Revolution in St. Domingo from Serious Remonstrances by Thomas Branagan - 1805; asserts the slave trade and black resentment of mistreatment as causes of the Haitian Revolution, rather than abolitionism

Preface to the First Edition of An Historical Survey by Bryan Edwards (British) - 1806; asserts the rhetoric and actions of "reformers" (e.g. abolitionists) as the causes of the Haitian Revolution

Excerpt from An Historical Survey by Bryan Edwards (British) - 1806; begins "I might here expatiate…" - expresses a pessimistic view of Haiti's future and predicts that emancipated slaves will be "savages in the midst of society"

Excerpt from Arator: Being a Series of Agricultural Essays, Practical and Political: "Number 28: Labour" by John Taylor - 1814; opposes slavery but cites the Haitian Revolution in his criticism of the dangerous and divisive actions of certain abolitionists

History of the Island of St. Domingo by James Barskett (British) - 1824; the prefatory advertisement suggests the cruelties of Haitian slavery precipitated the violence and that post-Revolutionary Haiti has exceeded the expectations of many

Article in Freedom's Journal: Speech of a Pastor from Potsdam, NY - 1827; predicts that allowing slavery to persist in the United States will lead to slave violence comparable to that of the Haitian Revolution

Chapter 3 from The Present State of Hayti by James Franklin - 1828; asserts that French abolitionism caused the black insurrection and that the severity of pre-Revolutionary slavery has been overestimated

Article in The Liberator: "To the Editors of the National Intelligencer" by William Lloyd Garrison - 1831; defensively asserts that slavery, not abolitionist rhetoric, causes insurrections like that witnessed in Haiti

Excerpt from An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans called Africans by Lydia Maria Child - 1833; excerpt begins with “An impartial and careful examination…” - asserts that conditions in Haiti during the Revolution and after endorse emancipation

Two Articles in The Genius of Universal Emancipation: "Immediate Emancipation" and "Fanatics and Incendiaries" - 1833; asserts that slave violence in Haiti was caused by Napoleon's attempt to reinstate slavery and not by emancipation

Rebuttal to “Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832, by Thomas R. Dew" - 1833; asserts that slave violence in Haiti was caused by Napoleon's attempt to reinstate slavery and not by emancipation

Excerpt from Oration in Honor of Universal Emancipation by David Lee Child - 1834; excerpt begins: “But, says the slaveholder and his parasites" - asserts the illogic of causal connections between emancipation and retributive violence

Article in The Liberator: Letter from the Postmaster General - 1835; cites the imperative of avoiding the "horrors of Saint Domingo" as justification for censoring abolitionist mail

"The Horrors of St. Domingo" by Elizur Wright - 1836; detailed rebuttal of interpretations of the Haitian Revolution that connect abolitionism and emancipation with violence and that connect emancipation with societal decline

Chapter 21 from The South Vindicated from the...Northern Abolitionists by William Drayton - 1836; asserts French abolitionism as the cause of the Haitian Revolution and contends that emancipation has negatively affected Haiti

Article in The Colored American: "Immediate Emancipation" - 1838; references the Haitian Revolution in its warning to Southern slaveholders of the dangers of perpetuating slavery

Article in The Colored American: "Speech of Monsieur D'Isambert [Haitian]" - 1840; characterizes the Haitian Revolution as defensive rather than rebellious - speech occurred at the 1840 London antislavery convention

Article in The Liberator: "The Insurrection at St. Domingo" by William Lloyd Garrison - 1841; a brief poem by Garrison

A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions; with a Sketch of the Character of Toussaint L'Ouverture by James McCune Smith - 1841; offers a clarifying history of the causes and events of the Haitian Revolution

Excerpt from History of Europe by Archibald Alison (British) - 1842; begins with “The second catastrophe...” - describes the Haitian Revolution as a product of abolitionism and a case study of the problems caused by "precipitate emancipation"

Article in The North Star: "Letter to Henry Clay" - 1847; refutes the assumption that emancipation caused the violence of the Haitian Revolution

“A Glance at the Subsequent History of St Domingo, or Hayti” by Wilson Armistead - 1848; asserts the justifiability of violent resistance during the Haitian Revolution and describes Haiti's favorable progress following emancipation

Remarks Delivered in the House of Representatives by T.H. Bayly, Joshua Giddings, et al – 1848; Bayly asserts that the events of the Haitian Revolution demonstrate that abolitionist agitation and emancipation provoke slave violence

Article in The National Era: "St. Domingo: The Misrepresentation" - 1848; lengthy account of the Haitian Revolution that attempts to dispel the associations between emancipation and violence

Article in The National Era: "The American Organ" - 1855; reprint of an article that accuses the Republican Party of seeking to incite "murder and destruction" like that which took place in Haiti

Article in The New York Times: "The Danger to the South" - 1855; warns Southern slaveholders that despite how well they think they know their slaves, the Haitian Revolution demonstrates that they don’t know “what fearful convulsions may be preparing beneath”

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "'The Lesson of the Hour" by Wendell Phillips - 1859; blames Southern slavery for sowing the seeds of violence that manifested in the Haitian Revolution and at Harper's Ferry

The Lesson of St. Domingo by Elizur Wright - 1861; a detailed antislavery-oriented narrative of the Haitian Revolution that asserts direct parallels between the event and the Civil War and recommends slave emancipation

Article in The Liberator: "The Lesson of St. Domingo" by Captain Tate? - 1861; a reaction by a Haitian soldier to Elizur Wright's book entitled The Lesson of St. Domingo

Article in The Liberator: "No Union with Slaveholders!...Representing Slave Insurrections" - 1861; criticizes Governor Butler for basing his recommendation to incite slave insurrection in the South on a misinterpretation of the Haitian Revolution

Article in The Liberator: "Our National Visitation" by William Lloyd Garrison - 1862; argues that Napoleon's attempt to reinstitute slavery in Haiti was the cause of violent resistance, not emancipation

Excerpt from The Rejected Stone: Chapter 19: "The Great Method of Peace" by Moncure Conway - 1862; asserts that the attempt to reenact slavery in Haiti, not emancipation, precipitated violent resistance

Article in The Liberator: "Refuge of Oppression. Massacre the Natural Result of the 'Proclamation'" - 1863; reprint of a negative editorial response in the Boston Pilot to the Emancipation Proclamation

Article in The Liberator: "On Which Side is Mercy?" - 1863; references the Haitian Revolution in a defense of abolitionists against charges of inciting slave insurrection


Post-Revolutionary Haiti as an Emancipation Case Study, 1804-1865

Chapter 6 of An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford (British) - 1805; expresses guarded optimism regarding the future of post-Revolutionary Haiti

Excerpt from An Historical Survey by Bryan Edwards (British) - 1806; begins "I might here expatiate…" - expresses a pessimistic view of Haiti's future and predicts that emancipated slaves will be "savages in the midst of society"

Review of Several Publications on Haiti in The North American Review - 1821; offers a favorable account of Haiti's post-Revolutionary history

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: “Independence of Hayti” - 1822; reprint of a Boston Centinel article that praises Haiti and suggests that racial equality can emerge in a free society

Speech of John Berrien - 1826; disparages the effects of emancipation in Haiti - the speech was part of the Senate debate regarding sending delegates to the Pan-American Congress

Introduction to The Present State of Hayti by James Franklin - 1828; asserts that Haiti's condition has degraded since the Revolution and that its free laborers are worse off than West Indian slaves

Excerpt from Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature by Thomas Dew - 1832 (1853 reprint); excerpt begins "So far we have adduced…" - describes Haiti's post-emancipation decline and the virtual reenslavement of its citizens

Article in The Liberator: "Some Remarks on the Former and Present State of St. Domingo and Hayti" - 1832; argues against the idea that Haiti and its inhabitants have retrograded since emancipation

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: “Free Negroes and Slaves” - 1833; brief editorial that suggests the positive effects of emancipation in the United States by asserting that the free blacks in post-emancipation Haiti are better off than Jamaican slaves

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: Reprint from the New York Commercial Advertiser - 1834; article begins "On the project now being made..." - offers Haiti as evidence of the negative effects of emancipation

Article in The Liberator: "Lord Sligo's Visit to St. Domingo" - 1836; reprint from a Jamaican newspaper that presents a positive view of post-emancipation Haiti

Chapter 21 from The South Vindicated from the...Northern Abolitionists by William Drayton - 1836; asserts French abolitionism as the cause of the Haitian Revolution and contends that emancipation has negatively affected Haiti

Article in The Colored American: "A Colored Community" - 1837; provides a positive account of post-emancipation Haiti and condemns the United States's unwillingness to recognize its national status

Article in The Liberator: "Haiti and the British West Indies" - 1838; acknowledges the "degradation" of Haiti's current condition but argues that this does not prove that emancipation should not be pursued or that it cannot produce favorable results

Article in The Colored American: "Celebration of the 1st of August in Hayti" - 1838; celebrates the importance of Emancipation Day in Haiti and describes the role played by the French and English ambassadors

Excerpt from History of Europe by Archibald Alison (British) - 1842; begins with “The second catastrophe...” - describes the Haitian Revolution as a product of abolitionism and a case study of the problems caused by "precipitate emancipation"

Second Excerpt from History of Europe by Archibald Alison (British) - 1842; begins with “Since the expulsion...” - describes Haiti as a failed society; lengthy footnote argues that the black race is inferior and that the success of the Haitian Revolution was an anomaly

Excerpt from A Defence of Slavery by Matthew Estes - 1846; begins “But let us now proceed…” - argues that the “idleness” of emancipated blacks in Haiti suggests an “insuperable obstacle” to emancipation in the United States

“A Glance at the Subsequent History of St Domingo, or Hayti” by Wilson Armistead - 1848; asserts the justifiability of violent resistance during the Haitian Revolution and describes Haiti's favorable progress following emancipation

Article in The National Era: "St. Domingo: The Misrepresentation" - 1848; lengthy account of the Haitian Revolution that attempts to dispel the associations between emancipation and violence

Article in The National Era: "The Colored Population of the United States" - 1851; argues that the lack of progress in post-emancipation Haiti is not suggestive of the effects of emancipation in the United States - asserts that Haitians, unlike American blacks, are "barbarous"

Article in The Liberator: "Selections from the N.Y. Tribune. Hayti" - 1851; presents a negative view of post-emancipation Haiti but criticizes Americans for being overly critical of its condition and for impeding its progress

Article in De Bow's Review: Excerpt from a Letter from Mr. Walsh to Secretary of State Webster - 1853; begins "But the most fairly tried experiment..." - disparages the condition of post-emancipation Haiti

Article in De Bow's Review: "Hayti and the Haytiens" - 1854; lengthy criticism of the current state of the economy, society and politics of Haiti

Article in De Bow's Review: "Effects of Emancipation" - 1855; letter from a Northerner who opposes slavery but who acknowledges the issues created in Haiti by emancipation

Article in The Liberator: "Refuge of Oppression. From the Washington Union" - 1857; reprint of an article that cites Haiti as evidence of the deleterious effects of emancipation

Excerpt from An Essay on Liberty and Slavery by Albert Bledsoe - 1857; asserts the violence of the Haitian Revolution and its poor subsequent condition as evidence of emancipation's negative effects

Article in De Bow's Review: “Experiment of the Independence of the Negroes in Hayti” - 1858; provides an analysis of the events that led to the slave insurrection in Haiti and of the degraded state of post-emancipation Haiti

Article in De Bow's Review: “Free Negroes in Hayti” - 1859; lengthy, detailed analysis of Haiti's historical and current condition that asserts that the decline of Haiti's social, economic and political institutions has left its free blacks in a worse state than American slaves

Article in The Liberator: Speeches at Antislavery Meeting - 1859; Rev. M.B. Bird and Wendell Phillips argue against claims that post-emancipation Haiti is in a degraded state

“Slavery in the Light of Ethnology: on the Caucasians and the Africans” by Samuel? Cartwright - 1860; presents Haiti as evidence that black men lack the will to be productive without compulsion and that they lack the capacity to overthrow a white class


Sectional Tension regarding the Recognition of Haiti as an Independent Nation, 1804-1865

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: “Independence of Hayti” - 1822; reprint of a Boston Centinel article that praises Haiti and suggests that racial equality can emerge in a free society

Article in Niles' Weekly Register: “Hayti” - 1823; praises Haiti's post-Revolutionary progress but asserts that near-term recognition of Haiti as a nation by the United States is unlikely and impractical

Article in The Colored American: "A Colored Community" - 1837; provides a positive account of post-emancipation Haiti and condemns the United States's unwillingness to recognize its national status

Article in The Colored American: "Resolutions Adopted by the A.A.S. Society" - 1837; asserts the United States's unwillingness to recognize Haiti as evidence of the dominance of slaveholding interests in American government

Article in The Colored American: "Our Country and Hayti" - 1837; criticizes the United States's unwillingness to recognize Haiti as ideologically and economically unjustified

Article in The Colored American: "Haiti" - 1838; asserts that not recognizing Haiti has damaged the United States's international reputation and recounts the Haitian government's willingness to accept any slaves who become unruly in the wake of recognition

Article in The Liberator: "Mr. Grennell's Speech, in the U.S. House..." - 1839; argues that recognition is a question of economic and humanitarian principles, not an antislavery ploy, and rebuts the notion that recognition would foment slave insurrection

Article in The Liberator: "Hayti" - 1839; reprint of an editorial from the Evening News that corrects and rebuts historical interpretations of the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath that are used to justify opposing recognition

Article in The Liberator: "Recognition of Hayti" - 1839; quotes a Congressional speech that characterizes recognition as an abolitionist objective and argues against recognizing a "government of insurrectionists"

Article in Niles' National Register: "Question of Privilege" - 1842; in a Congressional debate, John Q. Adams asserts that Haitian recognition has become a sectional issue

Article in The Liberator: "From the Glasgow Argus. The American Union and Slavery" - 1845; a British editorial that cites the American government’s intransigence on the subject of Haitian recognition as evidence of slaveholders’ political ascendancy

Article in The North Star: "Selections. Recognition of the Liberian Republic" - 1849; two articles, reprinted from other newspapers, that criticize the failure to recognize Haiti and Liberia, blaming slaveholding influence in American government

Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: Letter to the Editor regarding Haitian Independence - 1855; negatively contrasts the United States's quick recognition of Texas with its longstanding unwillingness to recognize Haiti

Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: "The Slave Oligarchy" - 1855; excerpt from Charles Sumner's speech in Fanueil Hall in which he cites the United States's failure to recognize Haiti as one piece of evidence, among many, of a "Slave Oligarchy" in the United States

Excerpt in the African Repository of a Speech by President Lincoln: “The President's Message. Liberian Independence” - 1861; announces his intention to recognize Liberia and Haiti

Article in the African Repository: “Notices of Liberian Commissioners” – 1862; cites the African Methodist Episcopal Church's positive reaction to the recognition of Haiti and Liberia by the United States

Footnotes

1 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, 11-13.

2 Ibid; Bryan Edwards, "An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo," in The History Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, Fourth Edition with Considerable Additions, Volume 3 (London: Printed for John Stockdale, Piccadilly, 1807), 207.

3 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, 12; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, 43.  According to Rugemer, Edwards's "account became the standard proslavery interpretation of the Haitian Revolution throughout the antebellum period."

4 Marcus Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti:  Comprehending a View of the Principal Transactions in the Revolution of Saint Domingo; with Its Ancient and Modern State (London: J. Cundee, 1805), 100.

5 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, 11-13, 23-29.

6 The importance of these two accounts is discussed in Ibid., especially 11-13, chapters 2-3.  The significant and persistent influence of Edwards's account, in particular, is asserted in Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, especially chapters 2-3.

7 Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, chapter 8; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, 121-23; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, chapters 2-4.

8 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, 13-19, 33-35; Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, chapter 8; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, chapter 4; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, chapters 2-4.

9 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, 13-19, 33-35; Jackson and Bacon, "Fever and Fret: The Haitian Revolution and African American Responses," 13-15.

10 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, chapters 1-3, 5; Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, chapter 8; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, chapters 4-5; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, chapters 2-4.

11 Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, chapters 1-3, 5; Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, chapter 8; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, chapters 4-5; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, chapters 2-4.

12 Alexander, "'The Black Republic': The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816-1862."; Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, chapter 5; Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, chapters 8, 14; Fanning, "The Roots of Early Black Nationalism:  Northern African Americans' Invocations of Haiti in the Early Nineteenth Century."; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, chapters 4-5; Rugemer, The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War, chapters 5, 8. Rugemer provides a comparable analysis of the British West Indies as a post-emancipation reference point in the American slavery debate.

13 Alexander, "'The Black Republic': The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816-1862."; Hunt, Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean, 184-87.

14 Alexander, "'The Black Republic': The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Northern Black Political Consciousness, 1816-1862."

15 Ibid.