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11 sailor

http://www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS/EDITIONS/2001/03_19_01/IMAGES/11_sailor.jpg

July 13th, 1791

To whom may read this diary in the near or distant future,

My name is Charles Vincent. I am an American fisherman, sailing my life away on the shores of this depressing yet fascinating island of Saint-Domingue. My wife and I count the days until our return back to America, but until then we make our living out here in the sea. Some may call us pirates, but Patricia and I like to refer to ourselves as escaped criminals, defying the law! My wife just bought me this journal, trying to convince me that I need something to do with all of my free time. I’ll write soon.


July 15th, 1791

Diary,

Life on the island is an interesting one. We usually make most of our sails to the local white plantation owners, but I show pity to the African slaves that are usually desperate for food. It is sometimes hard because most of my customers seem to be slaves considering they greatly out number their owners. I often question why they put up with their inhuman living conditions. I often feel that rebellion lingers in their mind, but that’s just my personal opinion. I heard a lot of the stories from the slaves as well. They often talk of the torturous labor and farming that they are forced to do day after day. I can help but feel bad for these people. Why are they the ones working the fields instead of the white Frenchmen?

August 6th, 1791

My apologies,

It has been a while since my last entry. The slaves and workers seem to be restless. It is definitely obvious that tensions on the island between the slaves and their masters are slowly growing. My beloved wife and I were forced to move from our home on Saint-Domingue and take our life to our ship at sea. We slowly circle the island watching the constant but subtle clashes that occur frequently more often. It seems that the slaves are finally reaching for what they wanted...Freedom.

August 21st, 1791

Help,

My predictions are true. The rebellion is coming and I know for a fact. My wife and I returned to shore to sell our weekly catch and some of our entrusted customers were discussing their plans to up rise and take over. They mentioned something of a civil war beginning tomorrow night. I don’t blame them any sensible person in their position would do the same. I’ll write back as soon as possible.

August 24th, 1791

Diary,

As I was told, the civil war has begun. Fighting and battles struck out around the entire island. We had to return to our ship once again to avoid getting in the middle of a battle. If my guess is right (and they clearly have been in the past) the slaves will win this attempt at freedom. By law they are equal, yet they aren’t given the rights they deserve. They outnumber the whites by a vast amount, so a loss would be unexpected. If the fighting becomes to dangerous, we may sail away from the island to avoid confrontation. I see ships in the distance.

May 7th, 1792

My greatest apologies,

My latest entry was delayed due to the erupting commotion coming from my home. We were forced to set sail away from the island and continue our course. By mid December we began to run low on supplies so we made a desperate decision to return home. On our journey back we watched European ships pull into shore and soldiers disembark from these enormous vessels. They arrived in full armor, weapons ready, prepared to put this revolt to a halt. We need to find a safe place to hide on land. Don’t expect another response soon.

February 21st, 1795

To all this may concern,

The war is finally over. The island has made a dramatic change towards equality and freedom for all. The French soldiers who arrived here 3 years ago were driven out and killed by the African-American slaves. The French then agreed to allow the slaves their freedom and rights to the fullest. My home has now been deemed Haiti and all is well. This long will hopefully survive through history and help educate those in the future.

Sincerely,

Charles Vincent



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