By Toussaint Louverture, ; Toussaint Louverture, ; Beard, John Relly

Toussaint L'Ouverture (1743-1803) received foreign renown within the Haitian struggle for independence. He led millions of former slaves into conflict opposed to French, Spanish, and English forces, routing the Europeans and seizing keep watch over of the total island of Hispaniola. L'Ouverture grew to become governor and commander-in-chief of Haiti sooner than formally acknowledging French rule in 1801, whilst he submitted a newly written structure to Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) and the French legislature for ratification. In reaction, Bonaparte despatched a military to depose L'Ouverture, who was once taken prisoner in June of 1802 and shipped to France, the place he died of pneumonia in April 1803. The lifetime of Toussaint L'Ouverture (1853) used to be first released in London at the 50th anniversary of L'Ouverture's dying and remained the authoritative English-language background of L'Ouverture's lifestyles until eventually the overdue 20th century.

Throughout the textual content, John Relly Beard compares L'Ouverture to famously winning white generals, argues for his supremacy, and states that his final failure to disencumber Haiti and premature loss of life are the goods of unlucky circumstances--not an indictment of his personality or management abilities.

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Extra info for The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Negro Patriot of Hayti: Comprising an Account of the Struggle for Liberty in the Island, and a Sketch of Its History to the Present Period

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Their pride of blood was the more intense, the less they possessed of the coveted and privileged colour. Haughty and disdainful towards the blacks, whom they despised, they were scornful toward the petits blancs, whom they hated, and jealous and turbulent toward the planters, whom they feared. With blood white enough to make them hopeful and aspiring, they possessed riches [Page 22] and social influence enough to make them formidable. By their alliance with their fathers they were tempted to seek for every thing which was denied them in consequence of the hue and condition of their mothers.

Contempt is always most intense and baneful between classes that are nearest each other. From the mixture of black blood and white blood arose a new class, designated men of colour. On the part of the planters, passion and lust were subject to no outward restraint, and rarely owned any strong inward control. African women sometimes possess seductive attractions. If in any case these were employed to mitigate the penalties of servitude, the blame must chiefly be imputed to the degraded condition in which the system held them; and if when they had obtained power over their paramours, they, in pride and jealousy, inflicted on them humiliating punishments, they did but serve as effectual ministers of well-merited retribution.

Who are you who will dare to justify crimes against my independence, on the ground that you are the stronger? What! he who makes me a slave not guilty? He makes use of his rights? What, then, are those rights? Who has given them a character sacred enough to put my rights to silence? I hold from nature the right of self-defence; she has not given you the right to attack me. If you think yourself authorized to oppress me because you are stronger and more alert than I, do not complain when, after my hand becomes vigorous, it shall plant a dagger in your heart; do not complain when you shall feel in your veins that death which I shall have mingled with your food.

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