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Category Archives: Research notes – books

Review of Geggus’ book

Martin Munro has published a review of David Geggus’ The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World.

This Gilded African to page 111

It is beginning to emerge that there were two factions fighting for independence in St. Domingue – Toussaint in the north and Rigaud in the south. While Toussaint instilled discipline in his troops and demanded equality and fair treatment, the efforts of Rigaud and the mulattos were marked by distrust and petty jealousies. (Parkinson p. […]

This Gilded African to page 98

Sonthonax was recalled to France to face trail for treason, leaving Laveaux in charge of the colony. (p. 83) Toussaint gained a reputation for being an inexhaustable and unpredictable foe. Indeed, the quotes Parkinson includes on page 84 invoke a certain awe of the man. Toussaint was betrayed by the mulattos at St. Marc, an […]

This Gilded African to page 82

In early 1794, Laveaux was in a desperate situation. Officers and men alike were reduced to rations of six ounces of bread per day. Disease claimed his men, and he was running out of ammo, clothes, and other supplies. (p. 74) The British were sweeping easily through the country and had already taken much of […]

Parkinson to page 74

As I’ve decided to start keeping a timeline of revolutionary events, I’ve started to notice that Parkinson isn’t much for dates. This makes for a much breezier read, no doubt, but doesn’t really help my timeline creation. Roume, St. Leger, and Mirbeck left St. Domingue on September 17, 1792, to be replaced by Commissioners Sonthonax, […]

This Gilded African to page 65

I’m finding Parkinson’s book a good source of stimulation for thinking about character traits, interactions, and motivations. However, I get the occasional feeling that she’s got the facts wrong, and some of her conclusions, in my opinion, reach rather far afield, as in a paragraph on page 52 where she ascribes to Toussaint a rather […]

James’ The Black Jacobins Chapter III

In this chapter, James describes the shifting balance of power in Haiti in 1789 – 91. The French Revolution was having far-reaching effects. Suddenly, with the fall of the Bastille, the small whites in Saint Domingue, inspired by their brothers in Paris, made a determined grab for power. The wealthy bourgeoisie of the North angled […]