Description

    Toussaint Louverture Manuscript Letter Signed "Toussaint Louverture" as General in Chief of the Army of Santo Domingo, one page, 7.25" x 8.5". With integral address leaf. Saint-Domingue, "29 floréal year 9 of the one and indivisible French Republic " (April 18, 1801). In French. "Liberty" and "Equality" printed in the top corners. To Headquarters at Cape Français. In full, "Your letter of yesterday's date has reached me. You will forward to me the documents relative to the turning over to Commander Dempuré, so that they may reach him more promptly." On laid paper. Mounting remnants, pictorial stampings, and remnant of red sealing wax on the integral leaf. Fine condition.

    Santo Domingo was a colony of France. Nevertheless, on February 4, 1801, Toussaint Louverture called for a Central Assembly to write a Constitution for his country. The date he chose was significant. France ended slavery in its colonies on February 4, 1794. In March 1801, there were elections throughout the colony to elect representatives. It is possible that the documents requested refer to the writing of the Constitution of Santo Domingo which was being written at the time of this letter and completed in May. On July 2, 1801, Toussaint Louverture signed the Constitution at Cape Français and, on July 16th, sent it to Emperor Napoleon for his "approval and the sanction of my government." Napoleon never personally answered any of his letters; replies would come from his Minister of the Marine. This irritated the Dominican leader who fancied himself "Bonaparte of the Antilles." On October 23, 1801, Napoleon entrusted the command of an expedition to, as he wrote his Foreign Minister Talleyrand, "annihilate the black government at St. Domingo," destroy the power of Toussaint Louverture, and re-establish slavery in the Island of Santo Domingo.


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