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Revolutionary Freedoms
A History of Survival, Strength, and Imagination in Haiti
Cecile Accilien, Ph.D., Columbus State University; Jessica Adams, Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley; and Elmide Meleance, Montgomery County (MD) Schools, Editors
Book excerpt:
From the Introduction:


Although Haiti is in constant political and economic turmoil, the fact remains that the Haitian Revolution has been a crucial benchmark in the transatlantic world. Of all the revolutions in the Americas, it was the first of its kind, and it brought about tremendous social change. The Haitian Revolution is the only example of an enslaved country that seized its independence from its colonizers and created a free countryall this in an era when the Atlantic slave trade was at its zenith and slavery was commonly accepted, in terms of the philosophy behind it and the practices necessary to maintain it. At the time of the Haitian Revolution, Haiti was, moreover, Frances most important colony economically. Its independence led Napolean to sell the 828,000 square miles of the Louisiana territory to the United States in 1803 for 15 million dollarsat less than three cents per acre, a transaction considered one of the greatest land bargains in American history. In spite of the turmoil that marks its history, however, Haiti remains a majestic country. It is filled with contrastswealth and poverty, beauty and darkness, despair and hopeand the images and texts throughout this book attempt to reveal rather than simplify Haitis complexity.


From Chapter 24, Accounting for Flight: Refugees for Saint-Domingue in the United States

One of the most visible consequences of the Haitian Revolution was the arrival of thousands of colonial refugees to American Cities. Between 1793 and 1809, at least 15,000 exileswhite, black, and free people of colordisembarked in seaports from New York to New Orleans. As white residents took stock of the flight of the Saint-Dominguans, they interpreted events in a self-serving way, looking to neutralize the threatening implications of the Haitian Revolution for the future of slavery in the United States.
2006, Caribbean Studies Press, 266pp, 45 full-color reproductions, Hardcover
ISBN 1-58432-293-4
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