Emigration and Imagination: Boston's Connection with Haiti


Auguste Bry, engraver. Portrait of Toussaint Louverture (Paris, ca. 1803)

Toussaint Louverture was born into slavery in the French colony of St. Domingue in 1743. Freed by his master in 1776, he became a planter and slave owner, but sided with the slaves in their massive uprising in 1791 and appointed general of their army. By 1798, he was governor of St Domingue, his army having thwarted invasions by French, English, and Spanish troops. Kidnapped by French forces in 1802, he died the following year in a French prison. Throughout the Abolitionist era in Boston, Toussaint remained an inspirational figure.

Autograph file, T – Bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell, 1918.