Facing Racial Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Insurrection

Paperback | February 28, 2008

byJeremy D. Popkin

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The only truly successful slave uprising in the Atlantic world, the Haitian Revolution gave birth to the first independent black republic of the modern era. Inspired by the revolution that had recently roiled their French rulers, black slaves and people of mixed race alike rose up against their oppressors in a bloody insurrection that led to the burning of the colony’s largest city, a bitter struggle against Napoleon’s troops, and in 1804, the founding of a free nation.

Numerous firsthand narratives of these events survived, but their invaluable insights into the period have long languished in obscurity—until now. In Facing Racial Revolution, Jeremy D. Popkin unearths these documents and presents excerpts from more than a dozen accounts written by white colonists trying to come to grips with a world that had suddenly disintegrated. These dramatic writings give us our most direct portrayal of the actions of the revolutionaries, vividly depicting encounters with the uprising’s leaders—Toussaint Louverture, Boukman, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines—as well as putting faces on many of the anonymous participants in this epochal moment. Popkin’s expert commentary on each selection provides the necessary background about the authors and the incidents they describe, while also addressing the complex question of the witnesses’ reliability and urging the reader to consider the implications of the narrators’ perspectives.

Along with the American and French revolutions, the birth of Haiti helped shape the modern world. The powerful, moving, and sometimes troubling testimonies collected in Facing Racial Revolution significantly expand our understanding of this momentous event.

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The only truly successful slave uprising in the Atlantic world, the Haitian Revolution gave birth to the first independent black republic of the modern era. Inspired by the revolution that had recently roiled their French rulers, black slaves and people of mixed race alike rose up against their oppressors in a bloody insurrection that ...

Jeremy D. Popkin is the T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of several books, including Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789–1799 and History, Historians, and Autobiography.

other books by Jeremy D. Popkin

Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789–1799
Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789–1799

Kobo ebook|Jun 1 2012

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see all books by Jeremy D. Popkin
Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 28, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226675831

ISBN - 13:9780226675831

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
 
Introduction: From Saint-Domingue to Haiti: Eyewitness Narratives of the Haitian Revolution       
1. Becoming a Slavemaster       
2. The Ogé Insurrection
3. The First Days of the Slave Insurrection        
4. A Poet in the Midst of Insurrection: Amon Odyssée
5. An Expedition against the Insurgents in November 1791          
6. Inside the Insurgency: Gros's Historick Recital        
7. Prisoners of the Insurgents in 1792    
8. Fighting and Atrocities in the South Province in 1792-1793     
9. Masters and Their Slaves during the Insurrection        
10. The Destruction of Cap Français in June 1793          
11. A Colonist at Sea, 1793
12. Imagining the Motives behind the Insurrection           
13. A Colonist among the Spanish and the British           
14. A White Captive in the Struggle against the Leclerc Expedition          
15. A Family Reunion and a Religious Conversion          
16. A Woman's View of the Last Days of Cap Français           
17. A Child's Memories of the Last Days of Saint-Domingue     
18. A Survivor of Dessalines's Massacres in 1804         
19. The Story of the Last French Survivors in Saint-Domingue    
 
Notes  
Bibliography     
Index

Editorial Reviews

"The book, with its fascinating collection of personal narratives, helps to demonstrate and to explain the complexity and ambiguity of the Haitian Revolution."