The six pamphlets that make up the next installment of A Colony in Crisis bring to the fore of this project a number of pressing concerns about the kind of knowledge about life under slavery that can be gleaned from the colonial archive.
Written by an unnamed ship captain preparing to return to Cap Français, this letter recounts the violence that has consumed Saint-Domingue during various revolts, and the beginning of the Haitian Revolution. The author intimates the numerous ways the Whites and Creole planters retaliated against the enslaved and other people of color through various acts of torture and extermination tactics.
This is a speech by the Mayor of Port-au-Prince delivered before an audience of white colonists, free people of color, and military men on October 23, 1791, which hereby eliminated all distinction between race and social status, naming every man simply “citizen.”
These Reflections on the Code Noir challenge the National Assembly’s stance on slavery and, the code in general The Society of the Friends of Blacks implores the Assembly to abolish the slave trade in its entirety, but not slavery itself, which they see as a given.
Delivered by the likes of Julien Raimond, Vincent Ogé, and others, this Request and Petition narrated a long history of legal discrimination of Free People of Color in Colonial Saint-Domingue.This petition calls for political enfranchisement and representation of Free People of Color in the Colonial Assembly as a way of countering a long history of racial discrimination.
This response from the Deputies of Manufactures and Commerce of France to MM. de Cocherel and de Reynaud offers a detailed rebuttal to the Colonial Deputies’ claims that the French government and National Commerce perpetuated famine in Saint-Domingue. This later section provides evidence as to how MM. de Cocherel and de Reynaud misled the French government with regard to the merchants’ commercial activity on the island.
This is an excerpt from a civil case against Pierre Lesens, the captain of the slave ship La Furieuse. Apart from the charges against Lesens, this report chronicles portions of the Middle Passage where captives were transported as slaves to various trading posts only to finally land in the colony of Saint-Domingue.