A French General and a Black Officer (Toussaint Louverture?), Saint Domingue (St. Domingue, Haiti), 1806

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Image Reference

Jean-Louis Dubroca, Vida de J. J. Dessalines, gefe de los Negros de Santo Domingo (Mexico, 1806; first published, Paris 1802), following p. 18. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Caption, "El cuidad[a]no. Heudoville habla al mentor delos Negros sobre las malas resultas de su revelion" (Citizen Heudoville speaks to the mentor of the Negros about the bad/negative results of his rebellion). This illustration is a portrait of General Thomas Hédouville, with a black man in an officer's uniform, probably meant to be Toussaint Louverture. (No known eye-witness portraits of Toussaint exist; see other images of Toussaint on this website.) Hédouville was sent by the French revolutionary government as its agent in St. Domingue. He arrived in March 1798. Charged with taking control of the colony, he came into conflict with Toussaint who suspected him of being sympathetic to pro-slavery forces in France. Toussaint isolated Hédouville who was expelled from the colony; before leaving, however, Hédouville was able to encourage Toussaint's chief rival, Rigaud, helping to start a civil war (see Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: the story of the Haitian revolution [Harvard Univ. Press, 2004], pp. 217-223).