Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life by Philippe GirardToussaint Louverture’s life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. He was born a slave on Saint-Domingue yet earned his freedom and established himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own.
Philippe Girard shows how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman into revolutionary hero as the mastermind of the bloody slave revolt of 1791. By 1801, Louverture was governor of the colony where he had once been a slave. But his lifelong quest to be accepted as a member of the colonial elite ended in despair: he spent the last year of his life in a French prison cell. His example nevertheless inspired anticolonial and black nationalist movements well into the twentieth century.
Based on voluminous primary-source research, conducted in archives across the world and in multiple languages, Toussaint Louverture is the definitive biography of one of the most influential men in history.
Toussaint Louverture: The First Successful Slave Revolt Leader
Forming an army of former slaves and deserters from the French and Spanish armies, he trained his followers in guerrilla warfare and successfully ended slavery in Hispaniola by This paved the way for western expansion throughout the 19th century. On August 22, , slaves rebelled in the French colony of Saint-Domingue on the western half of Hispaniola. Inspired by the French Revolution , and angered by generations of abuse, slaves began slaughtering whites with impunity. He was nearly fifty years-old and married with a family, farming a small plot of land and running a plantation for his former master. But the rebellion began to expand and eventually it migrated to where Toussaint was living.
Toussaint emancipated the slaves and negotiated for Haiti, then called Saint-Domingue, to be governed briefly by black former slaves as a French protectorate. Institutional racism , political corruption, poverty, and natural disasters have left Haiti in crisis for many of the succeeding years, but Toussaint remains a hero to Haitians and others throughout the African diaspora. Toussaint was fortunate to be owned by somewhat enlightened masters who allowed him to learn reading and writing. He read the classics and political philosophers and became devoted to Catholicism. Toussaint was freed in when he was around 33 but continued to work for his former owner. She is believed to have been his godfather's daughter but may have been his cousin.
Featured in Macworld one of the best history sites on the web. Through Amazon. More Information on Tousaint L'Ouverture. Contact Us. The Slave Who Defeated Napoleon. Napoleon was one of the greatest generals who ever lived. But at the end of the 18th century a self-educated slave with no military training drove Napoleon out of Haiti and led his country to independence.
Who Was François Toussaint Louverture?
His military and political acumen saved the gains of the first black insurrection in November He helped transform the slave insurgency into a revolutionary movement. By Saint-Domingue, the most prosperous French slave colony of the time, had become the first free colonial society to have explicitly rejected race as the basis of social ranking.
Toussaint-Louverture was born into slavery in approximately in the French colony of Saint Domingue. He belonged to a small and priviledged class of slaves employed by humane masters as personal servants. He developed a passion for books and his readings were to become a great influence in his political life. Toussaint was freed from slavery at around the age of 33 and colonial records show that he became a land and slave owner himself. The French Revolution of had a powerful impact on Saint Domingue.