Welcome to A Colony in Crisis

Our next installment, composed of historical background notes contributed by University of Maryland undergraduates and graduate students for a class assignment, is now live! We would love to work with other instructors to incorporate A Colony in Crisis into their classes as we make our site a more collaborative learning tool. Just send us an email: contact@colonyincrisis.lib.umd.edu.

The website is designed to provide online access to both the French originals and the English translations of key primary sources dealing with the grain shortage faced by the colony of Saint-Domingue in 1789, which are found under the Translations menu. Alongside the French original, each translation is presented with a brief historical introduction to situate the reader in the time period and help understand how this particular pamphlet fits into the episode. Each document has been reviewed by one of the scholars on our Board of Advisors. These pamphlets are primarily drawn from the University of Maryland’s Special Collections, although related items available at other institutions have been included as well. Please see our Worldcat list if you are interested in the physical items.

The primary goal of A Colony in Crisis is to get these fascinating and underutilized pamphlets into more hands and shed light on an interesting chapter in the history of Saint-Domingue. Visit the the Project page to read more. This initiative is part of UMD’s Revealing La Révolution project.

Be sure to stop by our Acknowledgements page for a full list of the people and places behind A Colony in Crisis. We could not have done it without their support.

By no means do we claim the final word on the Grain Shortage of 1789. Please review the Additional Resources list and join our Zotero Group to contribute to the library so the website’s users can follow up and learn more!

A Map of the French Part of St. Domingo

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