Thomas Jefferson Would Want Reparations for Haiti's Wretched Print

by: Chantal Laurent

Is it indicative of the fear Haiti instills in the bosoms of tyrants that the vital role Haiti played in the abolishment of slavery globally is left out of most popular narratives and histories? No? Then, it must be by design.

Why is it that films like "Lincoln," for one, do not dare utter, never mind credit Haiti as the place where the quest for an end to slavery flourished and was fought and won in spectacular fashion over six decades before Lincoln "freed the slaves?"

Proper respects are due to Abraham Lincoln for inadvertently giving his life to a fellow white supremacist; however, Abraham Lincoln was not fighting the Civil War to free the slaves. He fought it to hold together the Union.

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued 61 years after Haiti abolished slavery. Arguably, Abraham Lincoln was not so much influenced by his moral fortitude, conscience or abolitionist leaning, as he was by the pivotal events that took place in Haiti 1791-1804.

American history classes should explain how much Haiti inspired Nat Turner, John Brown, Denmark Vesey and others who led slave uprisings. Haiti's freedom fighters were heroes of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. He wrote the famous ode: Until She Spoke in their honor.

Moreover, Charles Deslondes, who was of Haitian descent, led perhaps the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history in Louisiana -- consisting of some 200 men. The end that he and his tortured comrades came to is a blight that US historians sought to expunge from scrutiny by future generations in the "land of the free."

The Haitian Revolution - Battle Vertieres, 1803 

Haitian revolutionaries fought for 13 years to win the world's only successful slave rebellion, which required that they defeat the world's most powerful armies and unconscionable practitioners of chattel slavery: Spain, Britain and France. It should be common knowledge that Haiti also played a direct role in the abolishment of slavery and the independence of six countries in Latin America. Haiti supplied arms and men to Miranda and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela in their war for independence from Spanish colonialism. Haitian leaders Dessalines and Petion only asked one thing of them, free the slaves.

Yet today's tyrants, like the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson, would have the world believe that Haiti's enslavers, oppressors, invaders and exploiters are the "victims" of a violent Haitian population.

Thomas Jefferson observed, "The situation of the St. Domingo fugitives (aristocrats as they are), calls aloud for pity and charity. Never was so deep a tragedy presented to the feelings of man." While he disapproved of any federal intervention, he thought individual states should provide assistance for those French émigrés. In a letter to Governor Morris, Jefferson said the United State received "the wretched fugitives.. who escaping from the swords and flames of civil war, threw themselves on us naked and houseless, without food or friends, money or other means, their faculties lost and absorbed in the depth of distresses."


In 1794, the U.S. Congress showed compassion when a House of Representatives committee passed a resolution establishing a committee of relief that had funds available to support the oppressed from St. Domingo."
 p. 4 Haitians and African-Americans / A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope by Leon D. Pamphile

Haiti 1791-1804 — Hell on earth for all tyrants

Haitian rebels beat back the foreign invaders
"Yes, we have rendered to these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage; yes, I have saved my country; I have avenged America;"

"After the terrible example I have just given, sooner or later Divine Justice will unchain on earth some mighty minds, above the weakness of the vulgar, for the destruction and terror of the wicked. Tremble! tyrants, usurpers, scourges of the new world!"

"War, even to Death, to Tyrants! this is my motto; "Liberty! Independence!" this is our rallying cry." 

— Jean-Jacques Dessalines  
  • Written by: Chantal Laurent
  • Tuesday, 03 June 2014


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Funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation