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Welcome to The Louverture Project

The Louverture Project (TLP) collects and promotes knowledge, analysis, and understanding of the Haitian revolution of 1791–1804. This unique history project follows the example of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and is committed to creating a vast, accessible, and useful open content resource.

The meat of the project is the TLP wiki, which aims to develop both an encyclopedic reference work and a historical narrative. This journal started life as an experimental way to keep notes and share discoveries as I began to delve into the rich history of the Haitian Revolution. I still keep some notes on the process here, but the journal is now mostly a reference for things that fall outside the scope of the wiki.

So, what’s The Louverture Project wiki all about?

In December 2003, I was given six file boxes and several CD-ROMs worth of material that my late grandfather, Milton Beckerman, had collected about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution. My grandfather’s intention had been to write a book about this remarkable man, a task he had made considerable progress on by the time of his death. Without any particular experience as a historian, much less any connection to or knowledge of Haitian history beyond discussions about the topic with my grandfather, I agreed to finish the work he had begun. It quickly became apparent that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Haitian history was fascinating, no doubt, but convoluted, dense, and not well-mapped. It seemed to me that at every turn I learned something that contradicted what I thought I knew. Pulling together the threads of this enormous tale was a herculean task, one which had exhausted many smarter and better scholars than me. As I grappled with a way to wrap my brain around the enormous problem of understanding Haitian history, as I explored and rejected the notions of creating a novel, a popular history, a historical fiction, a play, a screenplay, an art book, a documentary… even a comic book!... I at last stumbled across the collaborative encyclopedia known as the Wikipedia, and I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I started developing the Louverture Project wiki in August of 2004, and released the site to the general public in January of 2005. It is my sincere hope that the site will become a useful resource to both the scholar and the casual visitor seeking to understand this too-neglected piece of history.