Revolution and Abolition in Haiti, 1791-1865


Module 3 documents the strong and persistent influence that the Haitian Revolution had on American attitudes toward slavery and, in specific, on American theories regarding the causes of black insurrection.  It also illustrates how the abolition of slavery in Haiti established an important case study that proslavery and antislavery advocates frequently referenced during the many years the United States grappled with the question of emancipation and the great uncertainty surrounding its potential aftermath.

NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY:  Though the nation of Haiti was not established until 1804, this website's commentary and document descriptions use "Haiti" to refer both to the nation and the antecedent French colony known as St. Domingue or St. Domingo.  There is no standardization, however, in the primary source documents.  Prior to 1804, American and British publications tended to use St. Domingo and, less frequently, Hispaniola.  Hispaniola was the name given to the entire island by the Spanish prior to the establishment of French St. Domingue on the island's western portion.  After 1804, American and British publications used both Haiti (and its variant "Hayti") and St. Domingo, despite the anachronism of the latter.  Some of the included documents utilize both terms.  Another complexity is that for much of the period spanning 1804 to 1844 Haiti incorporated the island's eastern territory known today as the Dominican Republic.  After the Dominican Republic's secession in 1844, some American publications began to apply the name St. Domingo to this new polity.  To my knowledge, no such references occur in the documents included in this website.



Contemporary and Short-Term Influences of the Haitian Revolution, 1791-1816

Expanding Discourse regarding Black Insurrection and Emancipation, 1817-1833

Growing Antislavery Influence and Intensifying Sectionalism, 1834-1849

The Pre-Civil War Years, 1850-1865

Document Collections

Influential Contemporary Accounts of the Haitian Revolution, 1791-1816

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

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

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

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

Case Study

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