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L ouverture toussiant

Our fearless leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture

August 20, 1791 Edit

Dear Diary, The tension in the atmosphere these past couple of weeks has caused me to write. I have heard all sorts of talk about a slave rebellion against their masters, led by Toussaint L’Overture [1]. As I am against slavery, I am excited to see the outcome of this, which will hopefully be in the favor of the slaves considering they outnumber the planters ten to one [1]. I am also against France, or for the revolution, so I have been given the name of a rebel. What I don’t understand is why others wouldn’t want to break off from France? If we did we would receive more human rights, universal citizenship, and participation in government [1].; Also, the newly enforced tariffs on goods, the forbidden trading with certain countries, and our lack of importance in the French government should make it an easy decision to break away [1]. The presence of slaves, I feel, is actually hurting us, which is why I am so in favor of ending slavery. If one needs workers, they chose to get slaves because they do not need to be paid, unlike middle class citizens who do not have as many jobs as possible because owners would rather have cheaper workers. I know that it will take more than one day and one battle, but I really hope the slaves win this battle. L’Overture is definitely standing out to everybody, and I have a feeling that he may lead us to victory tomorrow. I hope we are making the right decision, and this will help us instead of hurting us in the long run.

June 3 1793 Edit

Dear Diary, For a while now my side officially has had control of much of the Northern Plain [1]. Thanks to Toussaint L’Overture, we have been doing well. Although I want to break away from France, as tough as it is for me to admit they do have some fine policies. The French government came up with the universal rights of man, and then later signed the April 4th Decree saying the free men of color can own property [2]. Luckily, a man named Leger Felicite Sonthonax came here a year from yesterday and enforced that upon Haiti [3]. It was just another step forward to a total change, and I know it will just keep getting better. Ever since then, he had become a huge ally to us; I really liked him. He had contained the slave rebellion and defeated the primary white resistance.[4] He seemed to really understand us, and I knew from the beginning we would be able to trust him fully. Recently, we have befriended the Spanish and although I hope and think it will help us, they have supplied many slaves with guns and I am worried that some countries may think that having weapons is asking them to come fight us [5]. That is the last thing we need.

June 4 1794 Edit

Dear Diary, Things have gotten bad. We have been betrayed by Galbaud, and it makes me wonder who else is claiming to be on our side but is actually against us [6]. I feel as if I can trust no one but L’Overture, but at this point he has become a walking target. Also, Sonthonax has gotten many upset. I am even scared for him. When he first came he told everyone he was not planning on freeing the slaves [7]. But, he told all those enslaved that if they fight against the British for him, he will free them along with their families [8]. I am praying for him, and hope that people don’t get too angry at him, he is only trying to help.

August 29 1793 Edit

Dear Diary, The Emancipation of Saint- Dominique has been called [9]. All slaves are free! I know this lifts everyone’s spirits and it is a great turn for the better. This really shows we are on the right track and that if we keep working for what we believe then anything is possible. Like my last entry, I just hope this doesn’t make people too mad, I am already scared for my own life and praying that this will not be the last time writing in my journal.

September 7 1794 Edit

Dear Diary, As of know I am still alive, but I don’t know how much longer that will last. The British have come in and joined with the Planters [10]. They had a secret alliance formed and we had no clue until they actually came [11]. Today the British captured Port-au-Prince, which is obviously not so good for us [12]. Right now, it seems like when our spirits are strong we get farther, so we are just trying to keep our faith. I don’t know when the next time I can right is, I feel I am in danger everywhere.

August 27 1797 Edit

Dear Diary, I don’t have much time to right so I will make it quick. Sonthonax has returned to France [13] We don’t know when or if he will return, but it has hurt us in many ways. It is what I had feared at the start of this, and it is just what I said at the start of this; there is no trusting anyone. I am just as scared as I was in ’94, but I have a feeling everything will work out.

January 1 1804 Edit

Dear Diary, We’ve done it! We persevered through the challenge and won all that we wanted. Now we are not only an independent nation and the first black republic of the world, but we are also the second nation to win independence from a European country <ref name=Taylor>. Words cannot describe my excitement. We have worked for what we wanted and prevailed; now making Haiti a great place to live.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Taylor, Quintard. “Haitian Revolution (1791-1804).”
  2. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  3. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  4. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  5. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  6. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  7. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  8. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  9. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  10. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  11. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  12. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.
  13. Corbett, Bob. “The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803.” Bob Corbett’s Home Page.


February 10, 1803 Edit

Dear Diary,

A stir of uneasiness wafts thorough the air here, everywhere you look, our people are nervous. Nervous because of the planning, all the hard work that has been put into this, praying we can follow through, that we can make our ideas a reality. I have decided to keep you, Diary, to document my thoughts, the thoughts of a black woman named Annette Auguste, concerning an event that I'm sure will be of great importance, actions that will go down in history here on our island of Saint-Domingue. Tensions have been mounting for some time now, but they're about to explode. We will not bear the pain anymore, this age-old wound will rupture soon, and our voices will finally be heard. I feel it is necessary for me to explain the history of this all, so that you may understand the gravity and the great impact of the events to occur in these next few days. We launched our plan almost a decade ago, and only patience has made the events to come possible; it was the baby steps I tell you, baby steps. Ten years ago, the French, in control of our island, passed a law allowing all men, including us slaves, to be entitled to full citizenship. Our plantation owners had other ideas though, and they refused us our rights. We would take no such oppression any longer, and we revolted, gaining full citizenship, no longer making us slaves.(1) Tensions only escalated when war broke out between our beloved France and Spain and Britain, our freedom caused us to side with France, only further taunting the whites, who turned to Britain instead of remaining loyal to their own land.(1) Toussaint L'Ouverture, our fearless leader, managed tensions between all, and corresponded with the French to make sure we got what we deserved in return for our service fighting for France. Just the other day though, our great Toussaint was betrayed and arrested.(2) But this revolution will go on, it now lays in the hands of a man who I am told goes by the name of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.(4) We are now just at the beginning in the year of 1803, or at least that is what the leaders of the movement say. Who knows how they know, these plantation masters don't let us know much of anything at all. Yes, we still work for them, what other work is there for us to do?(3) Some of them aren't so bad, but tensions are high and trust is low; they all fear our numbers, we are so much stronger than they are, and fear they should... I have fears too though, I fear if I write any more, only bad things will come of it, I cannot risk the work of so many if this journal were to come into the wrong hands. There aren't many places to hide you in the quarters we have here on Monsieur DeLeveux's plantation, that Frenchman barely provides a roof for our heads and aching bodies to rest under at the end of the long day. "Frenchman", just the word makes me think of traitorous acts, of evil beings. Come the day when I may call myself by another name, I will spit upon the word "Frenchman". That, however, is all I may allow myself to say for tonight. So for now, down you go, dear Diary, into the cool grainy enclosure of the hole I have dug for you in the dirt floor of my lopsided, falling-apart cabin, the hard, cold February ground to be your enclosure until I take you out once again with the next development, hopefully not too far from now.

April 2, 1803 Edit

My Dear Diary,

      I am filled with apprehension, but, at the same time, there is a feeling of excitement rippling through me.  I apologize for not having written in you in several weeks, but there was no time.  Every night we were coordinating, planning our strike.  All of this has to be done in secret, so that the plantation owners don't suspect anything, if they suspect, we are doomed to fail.  We gather in groups in secret locations at the strangest hours of the night, places I am forbidden to speak of, even to you my Diary.  The groups we gather in are small, they are our strike groups.  I meet with about forty other men and women, these people will be the ones I work with to carry out my responsibilities in our part of the plan.  When news first reached us of Toussaint's arrest and deportation, our people were outraged.(1)  From that moment, our plans to wage a war against the French escalated and we began to plot out every aspect of our attack on these traitorous peoples.  The French, who tried to win us over by giving us our freedom, who we gave our allegiance to to fight with in their battles against Spain and England.  But we refuse to take their side any longer, they have betrayed us in the worst way by arresting our leader and now attempting to reestablish slavery in our homes.  We will stand by no longer, our brothers who have gone to help the French fight have escaped and they have come home to us, but they have made progress in our attack on the way.(2)  Those who escaped shared the things they had seen, the terrible ways the French treated them, though they were fighting alongside them.  Escaping from the French warships, they  spread their word to all other soldiers, and an uprising took place on some of the ships, as our brothers fought their way off, determined to come back to the rest of us still here on the island, to put the meaning of insurrection in our minds, and promote an uprise in all our hearts.  Full-blown war will erupt soon enough, but it will be the last time necessary, for this time, we will get what we have been fighting for for years, we will finally acheive our full right to freedom and the power to run our lands on our own, free from the clasps of these outside power-hungry demons.  Toussaint had told us, "In this land, slaves cannot exist, slavery is forever abolished" when on February 4, 1794 that terrible institution was forbidden.(2)  Toussaint had reformed us, preparing us for what he knew one day would come, and we could be our own people, separate from these evil power-hungry nations.  His troops of fugitive slaves were formed with discipline and the love for their people; he reorganized government, established a fair judiciary, and helped us former slaves to return to work.(2)  He knew that if he could do all this, that one day we would be able to survive on our own, as our own people separate from foreign influences, and we would thrive like that.  His troops have now come home, determined to lead us in the way Toussaint taught them to fight, to ratify our freedom, and honor his name and all he stood for, all he wanted our people to stand for.(3)  We meet in our groups to plan out the final details, to firmly establish the role of each in our attack.  We do this to define ourselves, to defy the French, and to achieve our destiny to live as a free people under our own country's laws.  

May 18, 1803 Edit

Dearest Diary-

      We have done it!  All that hard work, all the sweat, the tears, the blood shed.  The waiting.  Our goal has been achieved, we have got our freedom, and, boy, does it taste sweet!  The date is May 18, 1803, and there has been no better date before it.  This very day is the defining moment in our people's struggle for independence, the closing stop on our road to this point.  We will start a new path though soon, and although things will be tough, we will remain strong as a people through everything, that much I am sure of.  I have described everything else in detail my Diary, so it is only fair that I tell you what happened to make this day so great, the events that lead us to the raising of the new flag, of our new home called Haiti.  Though I am a woman, I have played as much of a role in this as any other.  My role was to gain the trust of all the plantation owners here on this island.  These terrible men who work us in the fields for merely the smallest wages and ramshackle housing for eighteen hours every day under the blazing sun in the fields.  They deserved what they had coming.  I gained their trust, putting in extra hours, treating them respectfully, but all that just a surface cover, just a layer masking my feelin


) "Haitian Revolution." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2009. Web. 9 Nov. 2009. <

(2) Hurbon, Laennec. "Haitian Revolution: Overview." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference     USA, 2006. 974-978. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. New Canaan High School. 9 Nov. 2009 <>.

(3) Hooker, Richard. "The Haitian Revolution." World Civilizations. Washington State University, 6 June 1999. Web. 28 Nov. 2009. <>.

(4) Hurbon, Laennec. "Haitian Revolution: Overview." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference     USA, 2006. 974-978. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. New Canaan High School. 9 Nov. 2009 

      • I couldn't insert reference tags so I did it this way***

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