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Revolution and Reaction: Santo Domingo During the Haitian Revolution and Beyond, 1791-1844

A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of

HOWARD UNIVERSITY in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of


Department of History


Christina Violeta Jones

Washington, D.C. May 2008

3307982 Copyright 2008 by Jones, Christina Violeta All rights reserved




____________________ Emory Tolbert, Ph.D. Chairperson _____________________ Alan McPherson, Ph.D. Department of History ______________________ Edna Greene Medford, Ph.D. Department of History ______________________ Petronella Muraya, Ph.D. Department of History ______________________ Franklin W. Knight, Ph.D. Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History Johns Hopkins University

___________________________ Selwyn H.H. Carrington, Ph.D. Dissertation Advisor Candidate: Christina Violeta Jones Date of Defense: April 7, 2008


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research and writing of this dissertation were generously financed through grants from the following institutions: the Department of History at Howard University, the Center for Citizenship, Race, and Ethnicity Studies (CREST) Dissertation Fellowship at the College of Saint Rose, the Hawthrone Dissertation Fellowship at Howard University, the University of Florida Latin American and Caribbean Library Travel Grant, the John Carter Brown Short-Term Fellowship, the David Nicholls Bursary, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History Short-term Fellowship. I am also indebted to the various archival and library institutions in the following countries Spain, England, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. Above all, I would like to thank the staff of the Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain, the British Library and the Public Records Office in England for all their assistance. I would specifically like to thank Dr. Gillian Nicholls for allowing me to stay with her in Oxford while I researched her late husbands vast collection of material on the West Indies. I enjoyed our talks about the Caribbean and specifically about Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I would also like to thank Roberto Cass and the rest of the staff of the archival at the Archivo General de la Nacin in Santo Domingo for their expert archival knowledge and bibliographic assistance. I am also grateful to the librarians and staff members of the John Carter Brown Library (JCB), and those of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library at the University of Florida (UFL) for their assistance and knowledge of the material relating to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In doing so, I would specifically like to acknowledge Allison Rich from the JCB and Richard Phillips and the rest of the members of the library


at the (UFL), who brought to my attention to key documents that were relevant to my work. Finally, I would also like to express sincere appreciation to the librarians and research staff members at the Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture (SRCBC), to their help. In so doing I would like to recognize the assistance of Andre Elizee. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the reference staff at the National Security Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. A special thank you is also due to the staff of the Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York, and especially to Sarah Aponte who assisted me in finding relevant sources for this study. Thank you Sarah for all your assistance! This dissertation would not have been possible without the generous contributions of the many scholars with whom I have had the pleasure to consult and to discuss various themes in regards to its development and completion. To all, I express my greatest appreciation for their willingness and ability to recall often difficult, controversial, and delicate incidents regarding the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Overall, their help was essential to the writing of this small but significant part of Hispaniolas history. I would like to thank David Patrick Geggus, Franklin Franco Pichardo, Jose Del Castillo, Emilio Codero-Mitchel, Elizabeth Colwill, Jerome Handler, Frank Moya Pons, Lauren Robin Derby, Luiz Alaverz, Pedro San Miguel, Ramona Hernandez, Sarah Aponte, Ernesto Sagas, Michelle Wucker, Eduardo Paulino, Sherwin Bryant, Humberto Garcia, Roberto Cass, Teresita Martinez-Vergne and the faculty in the Department of History and Political Science at the College of Saint Rose for their helpful comments on the various themes regarding the dissertation and moreover for their knowledge, of


Hispaniola, colonial and post-colonial studies, Latin American, and Caribbean history. Their assistance, writings, and overall inspiration have helped me throughout my graduate school career. There are significant contributors that played important roles in the production of this work, starting with the members of my doctoral committee --Selwyn H.H. Carrington, Edna Greene Medford, Emory Tolbert, Petronella Muraya, and Alan McPherson. Dr. Carrington pushed me to the limits of historiography on the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and how the Trujillo regime held such a strong social force on the island. He also probed me to explore the themes which surround maroonage, freedom, and the concept of enslavement. I thank the entire committee for its thoughtful interventions and support. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Ms. Katie McGraw in the Graduate School at Howard University for her assistance on fellowships and grant writings and for editing my applications. I also wish to thank Mr. Frew Hailou in the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Howard University for his assistance in tutoring me in French. I would also like to send special thanks to the entire staff at the National Security Archives located at The George Washington University for supporting me and giving me advice regarding this study and my graduate career. Through the writing of this history, I have benefited on a personal level as well. I am extremely grateful to my committee members for their training. They have been wonderfully kind and helpful from the outset of my graduate career. Also, I thank the Department of History and the Latin American and Caribbean graduate students at Howard University. I sincerely hope that I have included all who have assisted me in achieving this project.

Finally, I would like to thank my family for all their support and encouragement. To mi familia in Santo Domingo, thank you for your assistance and for opening up your homes to me while I conducted research. To my father and mother, Dr. Melton R. Jones and Energellia Uzeta Guillen Jones, muchismas gracias por todos y te quiero mucho. You both have been wonderfully kind and always very supportive of my work. To mi hermana Mavel Uzeta Jones, muchas gracias for all your support, for keeping me sane through the hard times, and for always being there for me when I needed a shoulder on which to cry. Words cannot thank you enough. In conclusion, all the ideas, organization, and interpretation of this dissertation are solely mine and even though I have thanked all those who have helped me to produce it, all mistakes and errors are mine and originate from my interpretation of the material.


ABSTRACT The 1791 Saint Domingue or Haitian Revolution was one of the most dramatic in Atlantic history. During its twelve years course it led to the creation of Haiti, Latin Americas and the Caribbeans first independent nation. The island of Hispaniola became the symbol of black achievement in a world that was dominated by Europeans. The dissertation discusses how the Revolutions concepts and ideas relating to emancipation and nationalism were adopted and put into effect in Santo Domingo. It examines in detail how Santo Domingo was drawn into the turmoil of the Revolution and how the inhabitants lived through this event. The dissertation discusses how the Revolutions concepts and ideas relating to emancipation and nationalism were adopted and put into effect in Santo Domingo. The study explains why a unified movement of black identity and self-awareness in Haiti was never fully extended to Santo Domingo. I argue that by looking at the reaction of the various social groups that made up Santo Domingos population one sees how the Revolution and the Unification period were received and how race and nationality identity in the Dominican Republic began to form under these historical events.



LIST OF FIGURES ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS x INTRODUCTION Literature Review Research Design, Methodology, and Archival Material . Outline of Chapters . 1 9 22 25


CHAPTER 3. A DEFENSIVE NEIGHBOR: SANTO DOMINGO AND THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION .. 85 CHAPTER 4. UNITED AS ONE: BLACK AND FRENCH RULE IN SANTO DOMINGO ....................................................................................... 123 CHAPTER 5. SPAINS LOSS, HAITIS GAIN: LA ESPAA BOBA AND THE CALL FOR HAITIAN UNIFICATION IN SANTO DOMINGO (1809-1822) ................................................................................. 162 CHAPTER 6. OCCUPATION BY INVITATION?: BOYERS ATTEMPT AT UNIFICATION, 1822-1844 . 187 CONCLUSION 222 BIBLIOGRAPHY 227


LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Mapa XII-2 Regiones Econmicas de La Colonia Espaola 51 (Segunda Mitad del Siglo XVIII) Carte de LIsle St. Domingue . 55 Carte de LIsle St. Domingue . 56 Carte de LIsle St. Domingue . 104

Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AGI AGN BL JCB leg. M. NARA PRO RG SRCBC UFL Archivo de las Indias Archivo General de La Nacin Santo Domingo British Library John Carter Brown Library Legajo Microfilm No. National Archives and Records Administration Public Records Office Record Group Schomburg Research Center on Black Culture University of Florida, Latin American and Caribbean Collection

Introduction The 1791 Saint Domingue/Haitian Revolution was one of the most dramatic events in Atlantic history and in the course of the twelve years led to the establishment of Haiti, Latin America and the Caribbeans first independent state.1 The island of Haiti became the symbol of black achievement in a world dominated by Europeans. For proand anti-slavery forces, the Revolution became a crucial test case for the next several decades regarding ideas of race, slavery, and the future of Latin America, the Caribbean, and most importantly Hispaniola (present day Dominican Republic and Haiti). Revolution and Reaction: Santo Domingo during the Haitian Revolution and Beyond, 1791-1844 seeks to examine the impact that the Revolution and the Haitian Unification period had on the neighboring Spanish colony of Santo Domingo. I argue that nowhere in the greater Caribbean did the Haitian Revolution have a more immediate impact than in Santo Domingo and nowhere did it leave a deeper and more distorted view than in the collective memory of the Dominican people. The dissertation will discuss how the Revolutions concepts and ideas relating to emancipation and nationalism were adopted and put into effect in Santo Domingo. It examines the reaction of the various social groups in Santo Domingo to the Revolution and it delves into how Unification with Haiti was received by the eastern sector of society. The study will explain why a unified movement of black identity and self-awareness in Haiti was never fully extended to Santo Domingo. Dominican historiography has situated the Haitian Unification periods of the nineteenth century as the origins of a national identity. However, I contend that in order I will use both the term Saint Domingue and/or Haitian Revolution interchangeably. 1

too explore the concepts of race, national identity, and anti-Haitianism in Dominican Republic one must return and explore the ways in which identity in Dominican Republic began to take shape in the late eighteenth century and how events such as the Saint Domingue Revolution up to Boyers unification reinforced some of the concepts. As a result one would find that some whites and mulattoes in Santo Domingo fought with the political, social, and racial changes that their country was experiencing along with Haiti. However, in the Dominican case, creolization was both contentious and homogenizing, as it served both to unify the inhabitants of all colors and at the same time set them apart from Haitians and Haiti with events such as the Revolution and Unification period. In the recent years, many scholars such as David Geggus, Matt D. Childs, Ada Ferrer, and Alain Yacou have examined closely the ways in which Saint Domingue helped to shape the Atlantic world and the repercussions, which the 1791 slave revolt had on the region.2 However, scholars have not paid enough attention to the repercussions, which the Revolution had in Santo Domingo and how this story intertwines with events taking place in the Atlantic world. This dissertation will do three things. First, it will examine the structure of slave societies in Santo Domingo. Second, the study will provide some insight on how revolts developed and the repercussions these revolts had on the different sectors of its societies.3 Lastly, the study will illustrate how the

See David Geggus, The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2001); Matt D. Childs, The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006); Ada Ferrer, Noticias de Haiti en Cuba, Revistas de Indias, (2003): 675-694; Alain Yacou Administration Coloniale Espagnole a Cuba e les debuts de revolutions francaise et haitienne. Bullentin de la Societe d Histoire de la Guadeloupe 39 (1979).

Historians on the Dominican Republic have compared and contrasted the 2

Revolution laid the foundations of todays relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Much of Dominican historiography has ignored or distorted the implications that the Revolution and the Unification period have had in Santo Domingo. I argue that the reasons why certain sectors of the population adopted specific views towards the Haitian Revolution and Unification periods were largely due to several key differences. The first was the differences in European colonization between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue at the turn of the eighteenth century. Second, is the distinction of the economy and the social structure in Santo Domingo in comparison to that of Saint Domingue. Lastly were the differences between the colonial authorities view of enslavement and race in Spanish Santo Domingo and in French Saint Domingue. These three key differences, I argue led to the process by which diverging concepts of identity emerged in Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. The island of Hispaniola is the second largest of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean. With the Spanish encounter in 1492 and the destruction of the indigenous population, Hispaniola became the most important commercial center in the Americas at the turn of the early sixteenth century, where the gold mines and first sugar plantations were introduced into the New World. However, by the end of the sixteenth century, Santo Domingo was a neglected colony. The wealth that was created by gold and sugar

relationship between enslaved Africans and the freed slaves in the mild slave regime of Santo Domingo with that of the exploitation of enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue. See works by Carlos Larrazabal Blanco, Los Negros y la Esclavitud en Santo Domingo, (Santo Domingo: Julio D. Postigo e Hijos, 1975); Rubn Sili, Economa, Esclavitud y Poblacin: ensayos de Interpretacin Histrica del Santo Domingo Espaol en El Siglo XVIII, (Santo Domingo: Universidad Autnoma de Santo Domingo, 1976), and Carlos Esteban Deive, La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo, (1492-1844) (Santo Domingo: Mueso del Hombre Dominicano, 1980), Vol.1 and II.

and had initially attracted the Spanish colonists ended. The few Spaniards and their enslaved Africans who remained on the colony became self-sufficient. Saint Domingue was quite different. The territory became a French possession in 1697 and by the mid-eighteenth century, it had emerged as the leading sugar producer of the world as well as an exporter of increasing quantities of coffee, indigo, hides, and other valuable staples. As a result of its growing economy, the western side had a very diverse social structure based on race and class. This division in society produced the instability in the social structure of Saint Domingue. Therefore, Saint Domingue had a much more political and economically vibrant and racially mixed society than Santo Domingo. Meanwhile, Santo Domingo, whose sector contrasted greatly to the agricultural riches of Saint Domingue, was producing little sugar and it had to import most items including tobacco and coffee to satisfy its own needs. The industries that thrived in Santo Domingo at this time were tobacco and cattle ranching, which required a far looser regime of control than sugar production.4 Yet, the Spanish inhabitants still gained from the riches of Saint Domingue due to the countrys thriving need for tobacco, cattle skins and smoked meat products, which were imported into Saint Domingue from Santo Domingo. This trade, the desire to control Hispaniola, and the stop of spreading French republicanism into its Iberian colonies were among some of reasons as to why Spain became involved in the French Revolution.

Lauren Derby, Race, National Identity, and the Idea of Value on the Island of Hispaniola. Blacks, Coloureds, and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Latin America, (ed) Nancy Priscilla Naro, (London: University of London, Institute of Latin American Studies, 2003), 19.

However, the Haitian Revolution cannot be separated from the wider events of the later eighteenth century Atlantic World. The period between 1750 and 1850 represented an age of spontaneous, interrelated revolutions, and events in Saint Domingue constituted an integral part of this history.5 As the reader will learn, the influence was felt at all of the levels of the society.6 Hence, in Santo Domingo, the Spanish authorities were observing very closely the Revolution that had emerged, particularly since the enslaved African rebels that traded across their common frontier had supporters in the various maroon groups.7 The governor of Santo Domingo, Don Joaqun Garca y Moreno, therefore, put his troops on alert. In 1791 Spanish troops were reorganized with headquarters in the north and south provinces of Santo Domingo from which military operations were to be directed.

I am referring here to events that took place and helped to shape the period known as the Age of Revolution in the Americas such as: slave revolts, maroonage, slave resistance, anti-slavery movements, American Revolution, French Revolution, and Spanish American Independence. In Saint Domingue, the enslaved African population stood at nearly half a million, outnumbering the white population, which stood at about 30,831. 6 Furthermore, the white population was subdivided into two categories: grand blancs (big whites; wealthy planters and merchants) and petits blancs (small whites; plantation overseers, grocers, poor whites, and others). The mulattos and freed blacks, known as the gens de couleur (people of color) made up about 24,889 of the population. Therefore, the colonial power structure in Saint Domingue was not prepared to incorporate the French ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity that were transferred from the French Revolution. Moreover, the political, economic, and social interest groups clashed in Saint Domingue which led to a complex process of class struggle, pitting whites against whites, initially, then coloreds and eventually the enslaved population. The term maniel is distinctively Dominican. The Spanish used the name Maniel to refer specifically to the mountains located to the north of the Neiba Valley in todays Dominican Republic. The maroon band was notoriously known by many planters and enslaved Africans throughout the island of Hispaniola.
7 6

With the outbreak of the fighting among the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue forced Toussaint Louverture joined the Spanish auxiliary soldiers who were fighting against the French. The Spanish in Santo Domingo saw this assistance as an opportunity to re-conquer the territories in Saint Domingue that had been lost a century ago. However, the opportunity was cut short in 1794 when the French abolished slavery in Saint Domingue. This had an immediate effect on the black population in both colonies.8 First, it led to Toussaint joining the French army in Saint Domingue. Second, in a matter of months the Spanish in Santo Domingo had lost all the lands they had obtained from the French during the earlier part of the Revolution. Finally, because Spain was too weak to pursue the fighting in Europe, in 1795 it was forced to sign the Treaty of Basel.9 Because of Spains surrender it was reported that between 1795 and 1801 at least 1,800 individuals had left Santo Domingo and migrated to Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, and Puerto Rico.10 According to Richard Turits, the aftermath of the Haitian Revolution destroyed what remained of the small Spanish elite population in Santo Domingo.

It is important to understand that even though slavery was not as harsh in Santo Domingo as it was in Saint Domingue, it still existed after the French abolished slavery in Saint Domingue. Then 1795 Treaty of Basel stated that the King of Spain would cede and abandon to the French Republic all property in the Spanish part of the island of Santo Domingo. The Treaty further stipulated that Spanish troops would promptly evacuate the towns, ports, and establishments and would surrender them to the French troops when they arrived. It was conceded that the inhabitants of Santo Domingo would have one year, from the date of the treaty, to relocate. See Emilio Rodrguez Demorizi, Cesin de Santo Domingo a Francia: Correspondencia de Godoy Garca, Roume, Hedouville, LOuverture, Riguad y Otros, 1795-1802 (Ciudad Trujillo: Impresora Dominicana, 1958) Carlos Esteban Deive, Las Emigraciones Dominicanas a Cuba: 1795-1808 (Santo Domingo: Fundacion Cultural Dominicana, 1989). The figures vary as to how many inhabitants actually fled from Santo Domingo.
10 9

Furthermore, once freed, the former enslaved population, which consisted of 15 percent, chose not to continue laboring on others estates for meager wages, but rather pursued a relatively autonomous life of independent production in Santo Domingo.11 In 1801, Toussaint was in full control of Saint Domingue. Confident of his power to protect all of Hispaniola from a possible French takeover, he seized Santo Domingo where he abolished slavery and instituted many other progressive measures.12 In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte, who overthrew the French Revolution, sent a French expeditionary force to Santo Domingo, where Spanish creoles allied themselves with the French forces to expel Toussaints army from the eastern part of the island.13 Toussaint was captured by trickery and deported to France where he died in 1803. Santo Domingo now came under French rule (1803-1809). Meanwhile, Toussaints capture and death did not stop the rest of his generals from pursuing the fight for freedom. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a former field slave, assumed leadership of the struggle until the French armies were defeated and Saint Domingue became an independent nation in 1804 and was renamed Ayti (Haiti).14 See Turits, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History (Stanford University Press, 2003) 45. Frank Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic: A National History (New Rochelle: Hispaniola Books Corporation, 1995), 108. See also Carolyn Fick. The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution From Below (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990), 204. Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic: A National History (New Rochelle: Hispaniola Books Corporation, 1995), 108. The Taino name for the island Ayti was chosen. According to several historians such as Geggus and Knight, the choice of the Taino name Ayti (Haiti) for the new state probably derived from various literary sources. They assert that it had little to do with the survival of the Arawak culture or of an ancestral Taino population. However, because of the widespread physical remains of the Amerindian and mestizos in Santo 7
14 13 12 11

However, the presence of the French in Santo Domingo still posed a threat to the new black Republic. In 1805, Dessalines launched a two-pronged attack on Santo Domingo and by 1809, the French troops were fully expelled from Santo Domingo. Once the inhabitants were liberated from French rule, the colony reverted to Spanish rule from 1809-1821. The second Spanish colonial period, commonly referred to as Espaa Boba (Inane and/or Foolish Spain), was a disappointment for the inhabitants of Santo Domingo. With the emergence of conflicts for independence occurring on the Latin American mainland, Spain had neither the time nor resources to administer Santo Domingo effectively. Moreover, many in Santo Domingo began to wonder if their interests would not be best served by the sort of independence movement that was sweeping the South American colonies. In keeping with this sentiment, a group of prominent individuals led by Jos Nuez de Cceres declared the independence of Santo Domingo in 1821. Naturally, Nuez de Cceress intention was to merge the country with Simn Bolvars Gran Colombia campaign.15 However, the independence of Santo Domingo was cut short by Jean Pierre Boyer (President of Haiti) in 1822 who captured Santo Domingo; taking advantage of the weakness of the Spanish side, he unified the entire island.

Domingos population, it created to the masses of former enslaved Africans an awareness of their Taino ancestry. Simn Bolvar was a soldier and statesman who led the revolutions against Spanish rule in New Granada (renamed Colombia, or Gran Colombia, in 1819 which included Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. See Ren Lpervanche Parparcn, Nuez de Cceres y Bolvar: El Projecto de Incorporacin Del Estado Independeniente de Haiti Espaol a La Gran Colombia (Caracas, Editorial Bolvar, 1939).

As a result, for the next twenty-two years, the island of Hispaniola was a single political entity known as Haiti. Haitian Unification witnessed a steady decline in the economy and a growing resentment of Haiti among certain sectors of population residing in both the eastern and western sides of the island. In Haiti, the lines separating mulattoes and blacks were sharpened, despite Boyers efforts to appoint blacks to powerful positions in government.16 For those residing in Santo Domingo, Boyer was seen as someone who lacked leadership and stature. Many in Santo Domingo saw that Boyer did not and could not control and maintain his army. The occupying Haitian forces lived off the land in Santo Domingo, confiscating what they needed to perform their duties. Those in Santo Domingo saw this as a tribute demanded by petty conquerors or simply as theft. Racial animosities also began to strengthened during this period on both sides of the island; black Haitian troops reacted with impulsive resentment against lighter-skinned individuals from Santo Domingo, while those in Santo Domingo came to associate all Haitians with the oppression and the abuses that took place during the Unification period. Only along the border region was there support for Haitian unity. Literature Review Throughout the historiography on the Dominican Republic writers such as Joaqun Balaguer, Emilio Rodrguez Demorizi, and Manuel Pea Batlle have long suggested that the Haitian Revolution before Boyers Unification period was an act of aggression towards Dominican society. These historical works that have shaped the elite intelligensia among Dominican society have tended to avoid discussing the cultural,

Mimi Sheller, Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (Gainesville: University of Florida, 2000).


political, social, and economical relationship and implications their half of the island shares with its western neighbor. Moreover, they negate the impact the Haitian Revolution and Unification period had in their country. A large part of this problem in the historiography stems from the societys anti-Haitian thinking. This ideology has been evident since the late nineteenth century where Dominican historians such as Jos Gabriel Garca were heavily influence by the Haitian Unification period. The first three volumes of Garcas Compendio de la historia de Santo Domingo is dedicated to the colonial period and Dominican/Haitian relations. In this study he points out negative and positive aspects of government. Throughout this work he refers to the state of the economy, he condemns what he considers misguided government policies, which were largely a product of the socioeconomic burdens that he asserts were weighing down Spain itself. It would appear in Garcias view that with the rise of Saint Domingue in the seventeenth century, the destiny of Santo Domingo was altered. This trend in Dominican historical writing continued in the twentieth century with the works by writers such as Balaguer, Pea Batlle, Manuel Nuez, and Jos Ramn Estrella who portray Haitians as barbaric savages whose objective was to destroy and suppress the white Hispanic culture that had always existed in the Dominican Republic.17 In fact, Balaguer has described the

It is important to point out that in the Dominican Republic, research that would unveil the countrys African past was largely subverted under the Rafael Leonidas Trujillo y Molina dictatorship (1930-1961). It was during this period that anti-haitianism was constructed as a state sponsored ideology. Trujillo used intellectuals to transform anti-haitianism into a coherent and powerful ideology. It was during this period that the countrys research institutions such as its national archives, libraries, and museums were resurrected along with a several important historiographical publications regarding Dominican culture and society. Throughout the course the course of his dictatorship, Trujillo had a more aggressive approach to issues concerning the political, social, cultural, and economical sectors of the Dominican Republic. For instance, he formed a new elite group to replace 10


Revolutionary leader Dessalines as a heroic monster that surpassed with his boldness and cruelty the boundaries that separate man from beast.18 Statements such as this one evoked by Balaguer, have therefore led to the reconstruction of Dominican history where cultural, social, and political differences are strengthened by anti-Haitianism ideologies. What these writers seem to ignore is that Santo Domingo played a major role in shaping the story of the Revolution and its aftermath. It was not until the late twentieth century, that historians such as Emilio Cordero-Michel, Juan Bosch, Frank Moya Pons and Roberto Cass begin to include the subject of the Haitian Revolution as it relates to Dominican history. Cordero-Michels La Revolucion Haitiana y Santo Domingo (1968), Boschs La Ocupacin Haitiana (1822-1844) (1972), Moya Ponss La Dominacin Haitiana, 18221844 (1972), and recently Sibylle Fischers Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (2005) have addressed the impact the Revolution and

the traditional aristocracy that had remained in the Dominican Republic. The elite class in the Dominican Republic dates back from the colonial period. They were traditionally characterized as light-skinned and/or mulatto. Trujillos repression even extended overseas. Dominican political exiles were murdered by Trujillos agents in Cuba and the United States, and he was involved in attempts to kill Presidents Carlos Castillo Armas of Guatemala and Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela. One of Trujillos most notorious murders was (Spain) Basque exile Jesus de Galindez, who disappeared in 1956. However, his most brutal act was in 1937; in this year where he embarked on one of the most brutal acts in human rights and world history when he ordered the killings of thousands of Haitians and Dominican-Haitians living along the border region between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The massacre was Trujillos own way of showing Dominicans that they needed to preserve their race and national identity since the days of the 1795 Treaty of Basel and the Haitian unification period. The most noted Dominican figure who has asserted this is former president of the Dominican Republic Joaqun Balaguer in his book La Isla al Revs: Haiti y El Destino Dominicano, (Fundacin Jose Antonio Caro; Santo Domingo, 1989).


Unification period had on the eastern side of the island.19 For example, Cordero-Michel indicates that if one were to conceptualize Toussaints Constitution of 1801 from an ideological perspective, it can be concluded that this document was a substantial reflection of a society where feudal production existed.20 Meanwhile, both Moya Pons and Bosch illustrate and assert that Boyers economic policies in regards to the Code Rural was ultimately a failure due to the monumentality of the task of overhauling and modernizing the land system where there was a lack of state resources for surveying it.21 Hence, Unification not only confirmed the difference between social values in the two former colonies; but also the differences behind the meaning of nationalism in the context of the eighteenth century Atlantic world. Finally, Fischers study extends and deepens these analytical approaches regarding the Revolution and Santo Domingo. For her, the Revolutions impact is a modernity that is disavowed; it is this movement that had to pass underground as a result of the imposed militaristic and economic regulations.22 The Saint Domingue Revolutions impact provided the major push of modernity in the nineteenth century. For Santo Domingo in particular, the Revolution created a warped sense of identity in the memory of Dominicans. Historians, in particular, have utilized these

Here I am addressing how scholars have answered to Michel-Rolph Trouillots renowned book entitled Silencing of the Past, where he asserts that the study of the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath has been intentionally repressed throughout history. See Emilio Cordero Michel, La Revolucin Haitiana y Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Editora Nacional, 1968). See Moya Pons, La Dominacin Haitiana, 1822-1844 (Santiago, D.R., Univ. Catlica Madre y Maestra, 1972); Bosch, La Ocupacin Haitiana (1822-1844) (Santo Domingo Talleres Grficos, 1972). See Sibylle Fischer, Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004).
22 21 20



events to shape this anti-Haitian ideology that is strongly rooted in Dominican history, nationalism, and culture. One sizeable group of historians explains anti-Haitianism as a function of the efforts of the dominant classes to remain firmly at the top of the hierarchy. In the phrase colonialist thought of the governing oligarchy, Franklin J. Franco Pichardo in Sobre Racismo y Antihaitianismo y Otros Ensayso alludes to both the racist and classist status of colonial legacy and the refashioned republican ruling-class interests present in antiHaitianism. Ernesto Sagas in Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic further asserts that the annexationist schemes of the mid-nineteenth century, which used the Haitian menace as a tactic, were no more than attempts to preserve power as defined by traditional colonists frameworks, in the interest of old or new imperial masters. The tendentious and antinational manipulations of pro-Hispanic oligarchic thought, to quote Franco Pichardo again, also made it possible to deflect class conflict, as darker Dominicans from the popular classes would always define Haitians as people lower than themselves.23 Another ideology of anti-Haitianism is that the negative association was a logical step when a more positive one was impossible. Dominicans prefer anything instead of being Haitian. Faced with the foreign occupations of the nineteenth century the leaders of Dominican independence expressed their desire to revert to the familiar---Spanish traditions and colonial structures of domination---not necessarily by choice, but by default. This would explain the willingness to convert to Spanish and French

See Franklin Franco Pichardo, Sobre Racismo y Antihaitianismo y Otros Ensaysos (Santo Domingo:Impr. Libreria Vidal, 1997), 98.



colonialization. Meanwhile, the patriotic laws emphasized the cultural differences between the two countries and the aggression of Haiti towards the Dominican Republic. The advantages of this alliance became clear later with the United States occupation in the twentieth century.24 Many circumstances during the occupation reinforced Dominican hostility towards Haitians.25 A third explanation for anti-Haitianism is the development of world capitalism. The unequal development of both parts of the island, that is, the growth of Saint Domingue into a plantation economy as Santo Domingo reverted to subsistence farming and cattle ranching allowed for a more conflictive and eventually destructive relationship between enslaved Africans and masters. As a result, the Dominican Republic, in turn, developed more harmonious race relations and, conceivably, a more egalitarian society and form of government.26 Moreover, Santo Domingo was seen as the beacon of Hispanic civilization and Roman Catholicism, which in return became enshrined in the official ideology of the state. The most recent publication to address this particular issue is Eugenio Matibags Haitian-Dominican Counterpoint: Nation, Race, and State on Hispaniola (2003).

See Rayford Logan, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968); Valentina Peguero, The Militarization of Culture in the Dominican Republic, From the Capitan General to General Trujillo (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004); Charles Callan Tansill, The United States and Santo Domingo, 1798-1873 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1938); Richard Lee Turits, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in the Dominican History (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2003); Randall Robinson, An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution To the Kidnapping of a President (Basic Civtas Book: New York, 2007).
25 26


Franco Pichardo, Sobre Racismo y Antihaitianismo y Otros Ensaysos, 98-99. See Sagas, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic, 23. 14

Matibag examines the whole island and argues that a counterpoint narrative revealed the interlaced history of the whole limited system. Matibag focuses on the border as a site that can help provide useful patterns in regards to the study of the human experience in Hispaniola. The author provides a significant service bringing to lightthrough the work of Manuel Rueda and others---some of the important thinking that Dominican intellectual history has devoted to the subject of the border.27 One of the most important contributions of this study is that it examines both Haiti and the Dominican Republic as one entity by illustrating how historical events on one side of the island automatically affected the other side. This approach is different from past historical works where, Dominican intellectuals have viewed these entities in a nationalistic way.28 There are several Dominican revisionist historians such as Roberto Cass, Ruben Sili, and Hugo Tolentino Dipp who examine the formation of the various prejudices that developed in Hispaniola during the colonial period.29 Cass has made a great contribution to the social analysis of the Dominican Republic. Cass traces the history of

Historian Frank Moya Pons has challenged the view of the border as one singular and uniform line dividing the two countries, stressing the distinct texture that the border acquires depending on the social and ecological conditions of its principal towns. He proposed that one can describe eight border regions with discernible differences as seen from the Dominican side. See The Dominican Republic: A National History (New Rochelle: Hispaniola Books Corporation, 1995). In fact, several Dominican historians, writers, and political figures such as Balaguer and Garca have portrayed the Haitians as barbaric savages whose objective was to destroy and suppress the white Hispanic culture that had always existed in the Dominican Republic. These writers tend to articulate the importance of protecting and maintaining the purity against the growing African influences that threaten the lost of the Spanish culture in the country. See Roberto Cass, El Racismo en la Ideologa de la Clase Dominante Dominicana.Ciencia 3 (1): 59-85.
29 28



popular movements and political insurrections throughout the island by analyzing their economic and political roots and the impact they have on shaping the Dominican Republics economic, political, and social relations with Haiti.30 Though some scholars on the study of anti-Haitianism have classified works by writers such as Sili, Tolentino Dipp, Franco Pichardo, and Cass as a Marxist conception history, these historians have denounced this racists view towards Haitians in the Dominican Republic as an ideological weapon of the Dominican elite class. However, it is still important to think that anti-Haitianism was instilled as a dominant ideology within the Dominican popular sectors, mainly the peasants. In regards to the study of peasantry both Pedro San Miguel and Richard Turits respectively have contributed immensely to its role in Dominican history. San Miguel in Los campesinos de Cibao: Econmica de Mercado y transformacin agraria en la Repblica Dominicana, 1880-1960 (1997) specifically examines the relationship between the peasantry and commercial capitalism and the state in the Dominican Republic. His argument is that the peasants from the Cibao region have historically adjusted to incursions on their territory in such resourceful ways that, rather than find their positions undermined, the have affirmed their hold on the land. He further asserts that throughout the nineteenth century, as the rest of the country was invaded by sugar and cattle, tobacco planters in the Cibao region managed to retain control of the lands and succeed, thus modulating the monolithic picture of Caribbean economies dominated by the plantation complex. Turits in Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and See Cass Historia de Social y Econmica de la Repblica Dominicana, Vol. I and II (Editora Alfa y Omega: Santo Domingo, 1994). Other historians on the Dominican Republic such as Ruben Sili and Hugo Tolentino Dipp have taken similar arguments. 16

Modernity in Dominican History (2003) places the peasants at the center of modernization and integration in the Dominican Republic. Turits explores how the created of colonial-free peasantry both strongly conditioned the development of the Dominican nation and contributed to its unique development of racial ideologies and racism. He illustrates how this particular community at first supported the Boyers government but changed overtime due to the ruling governments effort to develop commercial agriculture and privatize property in Santo Domingo. Furthermore, Turits, offers a nuanced ethnographic portrait of the frontier region that highlights the relative lack of racism and absence of racial hierarchy between Dominicans and Haitians. While, David Nicholls leading text, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour, and National Independence (1995), remains a crucial it not indispensable leading work. Nicholls traces the development of political ideas and their influence on the formation of independent Haiti. Since 1804 through the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier, arguing that at their roots, Haitis problems (including Santo Domingo under Boyers unification) are the result of bitter social divisions along color and class lines. This argument has elicited challenges from historians who highlight other variable as having greater importance to Haitian history. Hence, this dissertation will examine many of these unanswered questions and provide us with the awareness of why an animosity developed between the two countries. Furthermore, it would provide us with a better understanding of the historical background to the two colonies and explores how different communities within the island experienced the Revolution and Unification period. I believe that if close attention is paid to these different and specific forms of Dominican responses to Haiti and careful consideration to


their reaction, it would allow others to see a more fine-grained picture of the impact of the Revolution and Unification. In regards to the literature surround the Revolution itself one of the first general interpretations in the twentieth century has been C.L.R. Jamess The Black Jacobins: Toussaint. L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938, c.1968). It displays blacks as political agents and the Revolution as an anti-colonial struggle. Since its publication, a great deal of scholarship has been produced on the Revolution, from the social and ethnic classes in the colony, to the Revolutions impact throughout the Atlantic world. Haitian nationalist historians tend to view the Revolution as the continuity of slave resistance between the colonial and revolutionary periods. They tend to argue that the 1791 Revolution was an extension of the activities of Africans known as maroonage. Historian Jean Fouchards Les Marrons de la Libert (The Haitian Maroons: Liberty or Death, 1972, c.1981) has become the foundation to the study of the Revolution.31 While some historians, such as Gabriel Debien, have contended that the marronage thesis has been romanticized, others, such as Jean Price-Mars and Fouchard argue that there is a connection and it is a research area that cannot be ignored. Fouchards book has been criticized as an old controversy in regards to the study of resistance to slavery in Saint Domingue. He distinguishes two major schools in that sub-field. The first, which he refers to as Haitian (though it includes some French historians), stresses the natural harshness of the slave system, and regards the quest for freedom as the major cause of Other historians who follow this tread include Jean-Price Mars. See Price Mars, La Rpublique dHati et la Rpublique Dominicaine, 2 vols. (Collection du Tricinquantenaire de lindependence dHaiti, Port-au-Prince) 1953.


maroonage. Explicitly or not, that school also ties maroon activities---including their very flight---to the general slave uprising of 1791, which resulted in the 1804 independence of Saint Domingue, now Haiti. The second school, represented mainly by French-born historians, sees maroonage as an accident of the system, occasionally provoked by the extreme cruelty of some masters, unbearable work conditions, or lack of food. Within that view, the desire for freedom was hardly a cause of maroonage: whether or not the harsher edges of the system were softened, slavery was indeed unbearable and there was indeed a frequency of slave revolts and conspiracies in the Americas that certainly reached a peak in the 1790s.32 Few scholars have published as widely on the various topics dealing with the Revolution as historian David Patrick Geggus. Geggus in some of his most recent publications such as: The World of the Haitian Revolution (forthcoming 2008), Haitian Revolutionary Studies (2002), The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (2001), and A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean (1997) illustrates the pervasive and multi-layered impact of the Revolution. Carolyn Fick in her seminal study The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution From Below (1990) combines Jamess argument with the idea that petit maroonage (small maroonage) also played a role in its development. Her claim is that

For example, it is possible that various slave revolts in Santo Domingo had a connection and was a direct cause from of the Haitian Revolution. In 1793 a plot was discovered where enslaved African planned to seize Hinche during the Holy Week festivals, killing all the whites and capturing their military supplies and equipment. Another uprising took place in 1796, on the Boca Nigua sugar plantation located outside of Santo Domingo. It was said that the enslaved Africans revolted because they heard about the slave uprising in Saint Domingue from some of its former participants who had settled nearby.



these underground movements of maroonage played an important role in the organization of the 1791 slave insurrection. While Fick does not deny the fundamental role of leaders such as the free people of color, Toussaint, and Dessalines, her emphasis is on the contributions made by smaller revolts. Hence, she seeks to recapture the viewpoint of the masses of ordinary men and women who made the Revolution by placing them at the center of this political and social narrative. These communities played a critical role in regards to the Revolution and the movement of various communities throughout the colonies. In 2004, the historiography on the Haitian Revolution continued to expand with Laurent Duboiss Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Dubois tells the story of how the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue were victims of oppression and as the century unfolded in the colony, free people of color became second class citizens who suffered from a variety of discriminatory laws. Dubois describes the conditions of enslaved Africans and argues that the ideas of the French Revolution contributed to the development of the slave revolt in Saint Domingue. The impact of the Revolution within the circum-Caribbean was both immediate and widespread. Historian Eleazar Cordova-Bellos La independencia de Haiti y su influencia en Hispanoamrica (1967) illustrates how the Revolutions repercussions took place in Spanish America.33 Cordova-Bello points out that the Latin American mainland

See Jose Luciano Franco, Revolucines y Conflictos en el Caribe, 1789-1854 (Havana: Academia de Ciencias, 1965); Patrick J. Carroll, Mandinga: The Evolution of a Mexican Runaway Slave Community, 1735-1827 (Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 19, no. 4, 1977); David Geggus, The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Blacks in Latin America and the Caribbean. Blacks, Coloureds, and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Latin America. (ed.) Nancy Priscilla Naro (London: University of London, Institute of Latin American Studies, 2003); Benjamin Nistal-Moret, Esclavos 20


and the Spanish Caribbean paid very close attention to the Revolution because it was close to them geographically and the make-up of their own societies was comparable to those in Saint Domingue. Recently, Childss study entitled The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery (2006) explains how one of the largest and most important slave insurrection in nineteenth century Cuba was inspired by the 1791 Haitian Revolution. Whereas, Ferrers essay Speaking of Haiti: Slavery, Revolution, and Freedom in Cuban Slave Testimony seeks to explore how events in Saint Domingue affected the transformation of slavery in Cuba at the turn of the nineteenth century.34 But more importantly, Ferrer explores how enslaved people in Cuba might have come to understand the Haitian Revolution and its connection to their own enslavement and liberation. Finally, Joo Jos Reis and Flvio dos Santo Gomess study Repercussions of the Haitian Revolution in Brazil provides a broad but far from exhaustive overview of the perception that enslaved Africans, free blacks or mulattoes in Brazil had on the events in Haiti.35 Furthermore, Reis and Gomez question the degree to which information regarding the Revolution fueled Brazilian societys own ideas of rebellion, wishes for freedom, and equality. The purpose of this study is to discuss how the Revolution influenced Santo Domingos enslaved and non-enslaved society on the ideas regarding rebellion, freedom, and equal rights. The dissertation attempts to illustrate how the Revolution and Profugos y Cimarrones: Puerto Rico, 1770-1870 (Rio Piedras: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1984). This essay is part of Geggus and Norman Fiering (eds.) The World of the Haitian Revolution (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming, 2008). This essay is apart of Geggus and Norman Fiering (eds.) The World of the Haitian Revolution (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming, 2008).
35 34


Unification periods transformed Santo Domingo and how various sectors of the society experienced this event. Research Design, Methodology, and Archival Material The research for this study was based on primary material found in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, and the United States. At the Archivo General de Indias (AGI) in Seville, Spain, I examined documents that discuss the reaction of the general population in Santo Domingo to the outbreak of the Saint Domingue Revolution. These documents were vital to my research because they provided first hand accounts of the Revolution by those officials who observed and reported on events that were taking place in Saint Domingue such as conflict amongst the free people of color, Og, and the outbreak of the Revolution. These reports by Spanish officials illustrated Santo Domingos role and attitude in the Revolution. Several key sources held in the AGI detail the events that took place on the Boca de Nigua sugar plantation in Santo Domingo. The first is the report of the investigating judge, Manuel Bravo. The second collection are letters to and from Governor Garca, and the third group contains letters written by the Archbishop Fr. Fernando Portillo y Torres on the events leading up to and surrounding the insurrection of the Boca de Nigua plantation. Furthermore, the documents formed an important source for the section of the study on Toussaint and his alliance with the Spanish army and his unification with Santo Domingo. At the Archivo General de la Nacin (AGN) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I examined those documents that relate to the ministries and departments of the government in Santo Domingo during the colonial period. These papers supplied


background information on the economic system in Santo Domingo. Documents housed at the AGN also provided me with information regarding the Hinche slave conspiracy in 1793 in Santo Domingo. For information on the 1795 Treaty of Basel and French occupation in Santo Domingo, I consulted some primary works that have been collected and published by Dominican historian Emilio Rodrguez Demorizi.36 Newspapers that were published in the mid-nineteenth century such El Duende and El Dominicano were also consulted. Moreover, detailed investigation of primary documents housed at the Public Records Office (PRO), The British Library (BL), and David Nicholls Collection (DNC) in England were undertaken. The PRO has probably generated the second largest documentation on the Revolution and the island as a whole because of the Britishs attempt to control the island of Hispaniola during the Revolutionary years. For my study, I examined documents from the War, Treasury, and Foreign Office Departments that related to the Revolution. Both the British Library and the David Nicholls Collection held several significant manuscripts, rare books, and journals relevant to Saint Domingue and Santo Domingo. The David Nicholls Collection, in particular, provided a good amount of information regarding nineteenth century Dominican and Haitian history, which has suffered the most in the historiography. The collection holds important Emilio Rodrguez Demorizi was a devotee to the Trujillo regime and the restoration of Dominican nationalism. His scholarship was tainted with official antiHaitian biases of the dictatorship. During Trujillos dictatorship Rodriguez Demorizi served as the director of the AGN. However, throughout his career, he contributed immensely to the countrys historiography producing valuable documentary studies on Dominican eighteenth and nineteenth century history. His position, under Trujillos regime, as one of the top historians in the Dominican Republic provided him unlimited access to national and even foreign archives. His compilations of documents are still considered and used as basic reference sources for the study of Dominican history even by some of the countrys top leading revisionist historians today.


information on Haitian political figures such as Henri Christophe, Alexandre Petion, and Jean Pierre Boyer. In addition to the overseas archives, I conducted research in various archives and libraries in the United States. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (SRCBC) in New York City holds the Kurt Fisher Haitian Collection, 1727-1958 and the John Kolber Haitian Revolution Research Materials, 1791[ca. 1950]. The collection consists of several travel accounts, journals, and newspapers published in Haiti in the early 1800s prior and during the Unification period of the island. These primary materials provide a glimpse of the early economic life of the country. Because part of the focus of this project is on the impact of the Revolution on Santo Domingo, it was necessary to study the various Haitian periodicals and travel accounts in order to identify any changes that the insurrection brought to the whole island. The Latin American Collection at the University of Florida in Gainesville is another valuable research institution that I utilized. The library is an important collection for Latin American and Caribbean history. The major group of interest was: the General Rochambeau papers. Moreover, the Library contains several newspapers from Hispaniola published during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Newspapers were crucial in spreading the news of the revolt throughout the Caribbean region.37 By examining newspapers and other publications printed at the time of the Revolution and a few years after, one begin to see and understand the significance and complexities that the islands unique revolutionary movement brought to Santo Domingo.

Juilius Shepard Scott II, The Common Wind: Currents of Afro-America Communication in the Era of the Haitian Revolution (Ph.D. Duke University, 1989); Ada Ferrer, Noticias de Haiti en Cuba. Revista de Indias, (2003), 675-694. 24


Furthermore, my research required an analysis of several eighteenth and nineteenth century personal chronicles on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Both Mdric Louis lie Moreau de Saint-Mry and Antonio Snchez Valverde accounts were crucial to the early part of the dissertation and my understanding of how Spanish and French colonization on the island differed. Snchez Valverdes study has been extremely helpful to my work because it specifically focuses on the Spanish side of the island. Most of the work is a description of the terrain, ports, rivers, climate, villages, cities, and economy of Santo Domingo. On the other hand, Moreau de Saint-Mry refer to the two distinct colonial economic structures that created significant differences between the two colonies, whose inter-colonial articulations left discernible marks on each countrys evolving national identity. The final chapters are responses to the colonys lack of a productive economy and suggestions that he feels the Spanish should implement to make Santo Domingo just as productive as Saint Domingue. In addition, I examined various archival documents and American newspapers housed at the Library of Congress, the Moorland-Spingard Library at Howard University, and the John Carter Brown Library. The United States National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland also provided valuable information relating to the foreign and internal affairs between the United States and the island of Hispaniola. Outline of Chapters This dissertation consists of six chapters, an Introduction and a Conclusion. Chapter 1: The Divergent Colonies of Hispaniola provides background information on the economic, social, and political conditions existing in both Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue at the end of the eighteenth century. The chapter begins


by discussing briefly the colonization of Hispaniola by Europeans, their interaction with the various populations that came to coexist on island, and the development and comparison of the cattle ranching based economy of Santo Domingue versus the plantation complex of Saint Domingue. Furthermore, the chapter details the relationship between the two colonies prior to the outbreak of the Revolution. Chapter 2: The Revolution Begins, 1789-1791: An Early Spanish Response begins by discussing the development of the Revolution and Santo Domingos response. The chapter examines the role of Vincent Og, who fled to Santo Domingo shortly after his return from France to Saint Domingue in 1790. It explores the role and the reaction the Spanish authorities had to Og while he resided in Santo Domingo and on his execution in Saint Domingue. The chapter then examines the leadership of prominent key figures who were involved at the commencement of the Revolution, particularly Toussaint and his involvement in the Spanish army for Santo Domingo as an auxiliary soldier. I believe that 1794, when the French abolished slavery in Saint Domingue, was the turning point of the Revolution. This event led to Toussaint fighting along with the French army. Toussaints leadership and role is important to discuss because it illustrates the importance he would have in shaping the attitudes of those in Santo Domingo throughout the course of the Revolution. Chapter 3: A Defensive Neighbor: Santo Domingo during the Revolution focuses on how the news of the Revolution was received throughout the Spanish colony and in specific communities. Various newspapers, letters, and other significant archival documents were utilized in this assessment. Furthermore, the chapter examines the state of the populations, specifically the black communities in the Spanish colony. Again it


extends the discussion of the black auxiliary leaders and their role in the Revolution. It suggests that word of mouth played a major role in the circulation of the news of the revolt in Santo Domingo. In the case of Santo Domingo, slave conspiracies and slave revolts are examined to determine the accuracy of this argument. Furthermore, this Chapter looks particularly at the role which women played in the development of revolts at this time, especially the Boca de Nigua slave revolt. This chapter asserts that the Hinche Conspiracy, the 1795 Treaty of Basel, and the 1796 Boca de Nigua revolt produced an economic, demographic, and social desolation to the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo. Chapter 4: United as One: Black and French Rule in Santo Domingo specifically looks at the period during Toussaints unification of Santo Domingo in 1801 and the abolition of slavery. The Chapter discusses Toussaints administration in Santo Domingo during his brief leadership and how the eastern sector of the society reacted to these new changes and to the free black communities that now existed in the new Republic, which became Haiti. Furthermore, the Chapter discusses in detail Dessaliness goals towards the Spanish colony after the capture and death of Toussaint in 1803, and the French take over of Santo Domingo. The chapter asserts how these invasions challenged the identity and nationalism in early Dominican society. Chapter 5: Spains Loss, Haitis Gain: La Espaa Boba and the Call for Haitian Unification in Santo Domingo (1809-1822) discusses the events and reaction that took place during the second Spanish takeover of Santo Domingo. With the movement for Spanish American independence and the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807 and eventually of slavery, it is quite clear that many of these events influenced the society in


Santo Domingo. The Chapter will analyze the regime of Jose Nuez de Caceres and his views towards the independence of Santo Domingo. The chapter will furthermore explore the lax administration of the Spanish colony, the influence of the South American mainland independence movements, and why it was effortless for Boyer to take control of the entire island in 1822. Chapter 6: Occupation by Invitation?: Boyers Attempt at Unification, 1822-1844 addresses and evaluates the various events that took place in Santo Domingo during the presidential rule of Boyer. The response to the Haitian Unification in Santo Domingo is complex and varies considerably by region and social group. As the chapter illustrates, many inhabitants in Santo Domingo were in favor of Haitian integration because they believed that a union with Haiti would be progressive and could help strengthen their economic development. Yet, several sectors, such as the remaining elite and racists cattle ranchers (hateros) of the eastern side saw themselves as second-class citizens in relation to Haitians. This triggered a tendency among them to identify differently from their western neighbor. The social and cultural customs between the two groups under unification remained different. Therefore, this Chapter explores how the various sectors of society saw and expressed themselves similar and fundamentally different from the Haitians. It also explores the events that led up to the independence of Santo Domingo in 1844. The Conclusion summarizes the main findings of the research and emphasizes the importance of this study to Dominican, Haitian, Latin American, and Caribbean historiography, as well as to the historiographical literature on the Revolution.


CHAPTER 1 THE DIVERGENT COLONIES OF HISPANIOLA Sitting on the banks of the shallow riverine waters separating the northern border towns of Dajabn of the Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe of Haiti, one can see children wade, market women wash, and people pass from one nation to another.1 And this will be confirmed better when we speak about our ranchers; and show that the French are in fact in the real sensual drifters of the island.2 The Spanish Caribbean, and specifically the island of Hispaniola, was the cradle of colonialism in the New World; it was the site of the first sugar mill complex and the plantation economys based on enslaved labor and large-scale export agriculture.3 The island became the first settlement of Europeans into the New World it was here that Christopher Columbus made contact with large groups of natives (the Tainos); it was here that the first genocide of these natives took place, and the first cohort of enslaved Africans in the Americas. The presence of this colonial encounter is felt throughout the whole island of Hispaniola. As noted by Moya Pons, the Dominican Republic is one of the least studied countries in Latin America and the Caribbean despite the fact that it is the longest European inhabited territory in the Western Hemisphere.4 Today both the

See Derby, Haitians, Magic, and Money: Raza and Society in the HaitianDominican Borderlands, 1900-1937, Comparative Studies in Society and History (1994), 487. Stated by Snchez Valverde who in his appeal to the Spanish monarchy argued that the use of enslaved African labor production was vital to the increase in Santo Domingos economy. See Snchez Valverde, Idea del Valor de la Isla Espaola (1785). Antonio Benitez-Rojo, The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern (Duke University Press, 1996).
4 3 2

Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic. 29

Dominican Republic and Haiti share the legacy of colonialism in their racial mixture, religious syncretism, linguistic fusion and the overall creolization process that characterizes Latin American and Caribbean society and culture. The differences in regards to the economic, political, and social structure of Santo Domingo (present day Dominican Republic) and Saint Domingue (present day Haiti) prior to 1791 provide answers as to why certain sectors of society in Santo Domingo reacted most negatively towards the Revolution. This distinction between Spanish and French colonization created a conflicting relationship between the two societies in regards to property, race, and ethnicity. But more importantly it laid the foundations of the relationship between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. This chapter compares and contrasts the differences European colonization had in Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue at the turn of the eighteenth century. The chapter briefly examines both colonies social, cultural, political, and economic structure during the late eighteenth century. The main argument is that the colonization and labor of produced by slavery differed in Santo Domingo than in Saint Domingue. This factor led to a contrasting relationship between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. Today, what is referred to as the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern twothirds of the island of Hispaniola, with the remainder belonging to the nation of Haiti. The islands strategic Caribbean location has resulted in a history marked by continuing foreign influence. Though a small land area, the Dominican Republic has a complex geography, which includes four ranges of mountains running in a southeast to northwest


direction. Mountains cover 60 percent of the nations territory. The major river systems include the Ozama, the Yaque del Norte, the Yaque del Sur, and the Yuma. The eastern portion of the country features grassy savannas devoted to sugarcane and cattle population. La Romana and San Pedro de Macoris, the nations third and fourth largest cities respectively are located in this region. To the north, the Cibao Valley, links the territory between the two most important mountain rangesthe northern Cordillero, or Monte Cristi Range, and the Central Cordillera. This valley has been the nations dominant agricultural center and home to its landed elite. The city of Santiago de los Caballeros located in Cibao is considered a major urban center and the nations second largest city, following Santo Domingo, the nations capital and most populous city.5 Santo Domingo at the turn of the eighteenth century was quite different in terms of its productivity, economy, government, and society than Saint Domingue. Writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were certainly Euro-centric in the sense that their main themes were the exploits of the countrys men in establishing colonies and creating wealth in these West Indian islands. The lack of sugar plantations

Frank Moya Pons, Manual de Historia Dominicana (Santo Domingo 9th ed.: Caribbean Publishers, 1992). As opposed to Saint Domingue (today Haiti) which has a surface area ten times larger than Frances other West Indian colonies. The highest peak on the western side of Hispaniola was 8,790 feet high, and two fifths of its land is located at 1,200 feet above sea level, or higher. In effect, the country consists of three steep mountain chains, which divide it into eleven distinct geographic regions and which create the Caribbeans most distinctive coastline. There are two peninsulas to the north and south that enclose the islands western shore. More than half of Saint Domingues land is on an incline greater than 20 percent; only 17 percent is flat and suited for farming. Most of the flat land is found in three regions: the Artibonite Plain, the Northern Plain, and the Cul-de-Sac. The remaining arable soil is distributed among a dozen smaller plains, tightly framed by steep mountain slopes.


in Santo Domingo during the seventeenth century was even commented upon by two priests who had written about the island and even the differences between both sides of Hispaniola. In 1730, the French Jesuit priest Pierre-Franois-Xavier de Charlevoix published several accounts about foreign and exotic places to which Europeans could travel. One of these places was Hispaniola. His description of early eighteenth century Santo Domingo highlights the colonys poverty, the frugal, yet carefree, lifestyle of its inhabitants, and the potential wealth of the colony if it were properly utilized. In regards to the poverty he states that: There were 18,410 souls living there. This count includes the thirty-seven [military] companies, which were conformed by 3,705 armed men, this is without counting the French men, which amounted to about four hundred, scattered in villages or settlements, nor the seamen who navigated along the coast in Spanish ships. Regarding other matters, there is no greater poverty than the one experienced by those settlers. This is, with the exception of the capital, where there still remain some mansions and places that seen, where they [the colonists] can barely cover themselves.6 At this time, Santo Domingo was slowly recovering from its century of misery7 as well as profiting from the business of the cattle industry and trading its meat products with French Saint Domingue.8 This intra-island trade helped the Spanish Creole

Pierre-Franois-Xavier de Charlevoix. Historia de la Isla Espaola o de Santo Domingo: Escrita particularmente sobre las memorias manuscritas del Padre JeanBaptiste le Pers, jesuita, misionero en Santo Domingo y sobre los documentos originales que se conservan el Depsito de la Maria (Santo Domingo: Sociedad Dominicana de Biblifilos, 1977), 385-388. The Century of Misery as it is known in Dominican history was at a time when the colony languished in poverty and oblivion to such an extent. During this period, the economy and population in Santo Domingo stagnated while, in French colony of Saint Domingue was established. The cattle ranching industry by the late eighteenth century in Santo Domingo became a very lucrative business. By the 1780, there was a reported 115,000 cattle rooming in Santo Domingo. 32
8 7

colonists acquire much-needed European goods that Spain, at the time, could not provide, due to the small size and inefficiency of its industry and its trading fleet. Thus, the Spanish colony was far behind neighboring Saint Domingue in economic development. The French made capital investments in their colony and imported as we know thousands of enslaved Africans to work the sugar, coffee, and tobacco plantations. On the other hand the Spanish in Santo Domingo did the opposite. In 1785, Antonio Snchez Valverde, a priest, wrote about the colony to describe and to defend the economic system from those Europeans who had made insulting remarks on the lack of production.9 He argued that the difference in wealth between the two European colonies stemmed solely from the lack of labor in Santo Domingo. He argued that if the Spanish Crown fostered the import of enslaved Africans into the colony as the French did in Saint Domingue, Santo Domingo would have been a very wealthy colony. He writes: The first and main cause for the vast difference between the wealth of French Santo Domingo and the poverty of the Spanish side. What is the purpose of having, not-two thirds of the Island, but more than threefourths of it, a territory that is more united, better watered, and more fertile, if all this wealthy fund is a hidden treasure in the entrails of the

Snchez Valverde was born in 1734 in Bayaguana located in Santo Domingo. It was founded in 1602 by some of the displaced inhabitants of the four coastal towns destroyed by the Spanish government to eliminate contraband activity. He was only too familiar with the history of the economic depression of the seventh and eighteenth centuries. He acquired a degree in theology at the age of 21, followed by a law degree at the University of Santo Domingo in 1758. He became a racionero in the cabildo of the cathedral in 1765. He lived in Spain from 1763 to 1765, qualifying himself to practice law before the royal councils. After returning to Santo Domingo he became a staunch defender of the poor, got into trouble with the Audiencia for having publicly criticized a judgment in favor of a priest against a penniless worker, and was apprehended trying to leave the country. The Church authorities found him guilty, prohibited him from speaking publicly, and ordered him confined. He was later pardoned by the King.


land, for which the key to opening it and taking advantage of it still needs to be found? 10 Moreover, Snchez Valverde believed that Santo Domingo needed to implement an intensive plantation system using African labor. He asked the question: Do the Spanish Colonists or Creoles ignore, by any chance, what the key is? Certainly: they know well that it is the labor, mainly of Negros.11 Furthermore, he asserted that the Spanish creoles who were residing in Santo Domingo were committing acts of sins by having sexual relationships between masters and enslaved Africans, slave prostitution, and the practice of allowing enslaved Africans to buy their freedom. On prostitution, Snchez Valverde writes that it should be equally order; that excesses between masters and female slaves would serve as legal obstacles to their freedom, stopping [the practice of] concubinage which is much too common.12 These practices, he contested were not only immoral, but they undermine the use of slave labor and production, thus threatening the future of the colony. In French Saint Domingue, it was noted that Moreau de Saint Mery and other planters regarded the sexual power which women of color exercised over white men as a corruption of nature, a feminine empire based on libertinage.13 This biological discourse was politically dangerous for colonists throughout the West Indies because it suggested that planters were weakened, even emasculated, by the climate and that they needed an authoritarian government to force them to be virtuous.
10 11 12 13

Snchez Valverde, Idea del Valor (1785), 163-167. Snchez Valverde, Idea del Valor, 163-167. Snchez Valverde, Idea del Valor, 163-167.

See John Garrigus, Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French SaintDomingue (Palgrave MacMillan, 2006), 156.


Saint Domingue in the eighteenth century became Frances most significant possession. By the mid-1700s, the French colony was the worlds largest sugar exporter, producing more sugar than all of the British West Indies colonies put together. There were a number of reasons for Saint Domingues productivity. First and foremost, the colony had fertile coastal plains, which were large enough for these massive sugar estates to reach their maximum size. Planters invested heavily in their estates. For instance, in 1763 the colony received permission to export a more profitable kind of refine sugar to France and in return the wealthiest planters rapidly upgraded their refineries. Second, the colonial administration also funded irrigation projects that transformed arid zones into prime land for sugar cultivation. By the end of the century nearly every sugar district in Saint Domingue had a laboriously negotiated irrigation network that not only watered the fields but also powered expensive water mills that crushed cane more efficiently than animal-powered machines. This sugar industry, furthermore, had a board impact on the French economy.14 Third, up to three-quarters of the plantation products were imported by France from its own colonies and in return were re-exported to other European colonies in a trade that produced an important merchant class in the port cities. At the turn of the eighteenth century, Saint Domingue was divided into three provinces. These provinces varied geographically and almost like different colonies. The north province contained the colonys commercial capital, Le Cap, then also referred to as Cap Franais. Located on the major Atlantic sailing routes and surrounded by the fertile northern plain, Le Cap became the largest city in Saint Domingue at the turn of the See Geggus, Sugar and Coffee Cultivation in Saint Domingue and the Shaping of the Slave labor Force. Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Afro-American Culture. (Eds.) Ira Berlin and Philip Morgan (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993); Garrigus, Before Haiti (2006) 35

eighteenth century. The city became the place where most French immigrants and African captives first touched Saint Domingue soil, Le Cap was a truly Atlantic city. In many ways, it was more connected to France than the official colonial capital, Port-auPrince. With governors and other high administrators maintaining residences there and the colonys leading cultural institutions such as the theaters, printing presses, a scientific academy the city of Le Cap was considered the show place for private and government architecture by the 1780s.15 On the far side of the island, Saint Domingues south province was the most isolated from Atlantic commerce. For this reason, the south was more connected to other parts of the Caribbean than to France. Southern planters sold their produced to Dutch, British, and their enslaved Africans as contraband. Colonists in this region were poorer, more likely to be Creole and less likely to abandon their estates for life in Europe. The west province, sheltered by the colonys two peninsulas, was home to the capital cit of Port-au-Prince. Though less convenient for shipping than the north province, the west province contained the colonys largest plain, at Croix des Bouquets.16 The focus of massive investment after 1750, the west had more plantations than the north, not only in sugar but also in coffee and indigo, by 1789. At the turn of the eighteenth century, the whole colonial structure of Saint Domingue was rapidly changing not just by political and economically factors. The planters in Saint Domingue, as a class, were divided amongst themselves. The gran
15 16

See Gariggus, Before Haiti (2006) 37, 126, 141.

See Gariggus, Before Haiti (2006). Also see Geggus who provides an depth analysis at the labor production on sugar versus coffee cultivation in Saint Domingue. See Geggus Sugar and Coffee Cultivation in Saint Domingue and the Shaping of the Slave labor Force. Cultivation and Culture (1993). 36

blancs in Saint Domingue consisted of whites who comprised the planter class. Although described as a single class, the petit blancs classification covered at least two social types. Both groups by the late 1780s were bitter about what they found in Saint Domingue. The first type of petit blanc was an ambitious young individual hoping to make great fortunes as a planter: these were tradesmen, lower government officials, and younger sons of merchants or landowners. The second type of petit blancs was the same kind of refugee from state authority that had populated the colony in the seventeenth century. These were ex-sailors, ex-soldiers, servants, petty criminals, and others. The gens de colouer belonged to a group that arose in Saint Domingue as a result of various circumstances such as sexual relations between whites and enslaved Africans, which occurred in and outside of the plantation complex and manumission.17 Throughout the eighteenth century, writers such as Moreau de Saint-Mry and Snchez Valverde used the scientific and political trends of their day to create their own descriptions of race, and they applied this to the population in Hispaniola. By 1750, writers began to use the word race as an anthropological term describing the physical and cultural differences among global populations, rather than as a social term that referred to family lineage. For example, since the appearance of an albino African child in Paris in the late 1730s or 1740s, physicians and philosophers in France had been studying the physical features of skin color. Writers began to describe Africans skin color as the product of a superabundance of black bile, a humoral imbalance that

Gariggus explains in great detail how manumission was practice in Saint Domingue. According to Gariggus, sexuality was probably one of the most important aspects of manumission in Saint Domingue, especially along the frontier region where there were few European women. See Gariggus, Before Haiti (2006), 40.



indicated an innate pathology. Other physicians who disputed these claims argued that regional environments caused racial differences, or whether Africans, in particular, had an entirely different biological origin.18 While the Bourbon Reforms did not create the same antagonism between white Creoles and Peninsulars (Spanish-born) in Santo Domingo that would later fuel independence throughout Latin America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean, historians continue to debate the rigidity and flexibility of the social classes in ascribing corporate identities, limiting political and legal rights, restricting opportunities for economic advancement, and establishing and enforcing socio-racial hierarchies. In the late eighteenth century, the small expansion of plantation production in Santo Domingo divided the population more clearly by race. In fact, Moreau de Saint-Mry asserts in his travel accounts for both Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue that people of mixed ancestry were biologically and morally inferior to whites and even to blacks. This explains how the free people of color, enslaved Africans, mulattoes, and blacks found themselves subject to intensified racial discrimination. Moreover, slave holders readily purchased captive Africans and enslaved persons as soon as they could, but Spanish policy called for a distinction between the importation of bozal slaves directly from Africa and the importation of bozal slaves from other ports and colonies of the Americas.19

Many of the French philosophers and writers were debating these issues throughout the eighteenth century. For more see Dissertation sur la cause physique de la couleur des Ngres (Paris, P.-G. Simon, 1741) and Maupertuiss Dissertation physique loccasion du ngre blanc, and Venus physique (Leyde, 1744). Both of these works are housed in the Rare Book/Special Collections Reading Room at the Library of Congress.


See Herbert Kleins, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean 38

During the eighteenth century, the African descent population in Santo Domingo sought different avenues for gaining their freedom.20 For example, some enslaved Africans were typically rented out for wages, a portion of which was kept by those who enslaved themselves who at times used it to buy their freedom. According to Fray Cipriano de Utera, all slaves can make themselves free by paying the price to their owners, who cannot refuse.21 Not surprising that several female enslaved Africans reportedly obtained funds to buy their freedom through prostitution.22 It is also possible that some enslaved Africans obtained additional money, from theft.23 In addition, sexual relations between male masters and female enslaved persons were reportedly common, and some offspring from these unions were manumitted by their fathers.24 However, the

(Oxford University Press, 1986). During the eighteenth century, travelers such as Moreau de Saint-Mry reported that the practice of self-purchase had evolved into an effective right. Fray Ciprano de Utera, La condicin social del negro en la poca colonial Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos, no. 17 (March-April, 1975), 54. In the late seventeenth century Juana Maldonado a poor mulatto woman and an upper class white man in Santo Domingo were know as to have an affair which was quite common in the colony. However, because Juana was poor, mulatto, and a women living in a race-and status conscious patriarchal society, she was summoned by the authorities and told to break off the relationship and to move from her neighborhood. For more on this particular case study see Moya Pons, La vida escandalosa en Santo Domingo en los siglos XVII y XVIII (Santiago: UCMM, 1976), 159. Snchez Valverde, (1785), 46. Santo Domingo was not the only Spanish colony were this was practice. In Cuba, enslaved Africans worked on weekends, market goods, practice in contraband trade, and performing services that whites (either by their absence or choice) would not do, slaves earned money to buy their freedom. See Rebecca Scott, Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860-1899 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 13-14, 105-107. Deive, La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo, vol. 2, 405; Carlos Larrazabal Blanco, Los Negros y La Esclavitud en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Julio D. Postigo, 1975), 180. 39
24 23 22 21 20

most common way enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo and other parts of the region gained their freedom was through marronage. For example, it was reported that in 1720, there were some 2,000 escaped enslaved Africans that resided in Spanish Santo Domingo. Furthermore, in 1751, this population had risen to 3,000.25 As African runways increased, a peasantry began to develop and became the norm of life in the rural areas of the Spanish colony, specifically in the Cibao and frontier region. Cattle ranching became the principle activity in Santo Domingo, making slavery of an altogether distinct character than in other regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, where slavery almost universally consisted of intensive sugar production and a rigid plantation hierarchy.26 Moreover, enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue were escaping to the Spanish colony from the booming and rigorous plantation economy in the west. For the most part, the enslaved Africans residing in Saint Domingue knew that in the Spanish colony the land remained freely accessible; even more so they knew that these unoccupied lands were abundant in hunting, raising cattle, and other livestock.27

25 26

See Deive , La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo (1980), 532-536.

Derby, Haitians, Magic, and Money: Raza and Society in the Haitian Dominican Borderlands. (1994), 497. It is important to note that although planters in Saint Domingue had the largest enslaved population in the Caribbean, it was also probably considered the most secured. This security of these planters rested on cooperation between whites and free people of color. In the 1730s, a local police force called the marchausse was founded to supplement the colonial milita in the policing of the enslaved Africans. From the beginning, this command force, used free men of color to patrolled the roads, slave huts and hideaways in Saint Domingue. The use of marchausse increased in the 1770s as a result of the large imports of enslaved Africans into the colony. This is probably one of the main reasons as to why prior to 1791 Saint Domingue had a comparatively small rebel activity tradition. The one exception occurred in 1752, when the enslaved African Makandal and his followers were poisoning whites and their livestock in the north 40

The relative ease of escape, the lack of an organized system of property ownership outside of the main urban populated centers, and the frequency of wild animals and the open range---uncultivated lands where livestock did not have to be enclosedall facilitated the transition from enslaved to free peasants. Moreover, it produced an isolated class that composed of freely sharecropping and the raising of animals, hunting, and fishing. In fact, Eric Williams described their conditions and intensions well by stating: Of no fixed abode, they concentrated in the neighborhood of the wild cattle, used sheds covered with leaves as protection from the rain, wore only a pair of trousers and a shirt, and slept in sacks to keep off the insects. They looked, said a French observer after seeing some who had returned from hunting wild cattle, like the butchers vilest servants, who have been eight days in the slaughter-house without washing themselves. Brave, well armed, fairly numerous, operating from Tortuga, off the coast of Hispaniola, their mission civilisatric was to constitute a terror to the Spaniards and a valuable auxiliary to Spains rival.28 This statement then poses the question as to whether or not those inhabitants that resided in Santo Domingo thought of slavery as something of their own. In fact, life in Spanish Santo Domingo during the eighteenth century was not as culturally or socially, and economically productive as other West Indian islands. For example, in neighboring Saint Domingue, the social, cultural, and intellectual activities centered on the two principal cities Le Cap and Port-au-Prince.29 In these two cities, there was a large influence of French culture instilled within the society.

province of the colony. See Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969 (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), 61.
29 28

Le Cap was also referred to as Cap Franais.


On the other hand, life in Spanish Santo Domingo was more relaxed and frugal. The Spanish creoles or whites were said to have such few wants and negligence. This is most evident in their attire where they are said to have dressed in a shirt, a sleevedwaistcoat, and a pair of ticking breeches which was common on the creole men.30 In regards to the Spanish creole women, they were said to have worn a black petticoat with a shirt like dress. Their long hair was worn without powder and it was tied up with a ribbon coming around the forehead. According travelers such as Moreau de Saint-Mry, marriage was very common among the creole inhabitants in Santo Domingo. The reason marriage was common was because being in an illegitimate relationship was forbidden and looked down upon in the society and the Catholic Church. Moreover, Spanish creole women in Santo Domingo did not allow men to address them in the French vogue, which they viewed as improper or bad-mannered. The general occupation of these creole women in Santo Domingo was sewing. Moreover, they were not secluded from all of society in the colony as the Spanish women were in Spain. According to Moreau de Saint-Mry, the women were generally pretty lusty, and he noted that this was especially the case for those women who lived in the interior of the island.31 The diet of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo consisted of mostly beef and pork; however, there were different names according to the ways in which meats were

See M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Mry, A Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo: Containing, General Observations on the Climate, Population and Productions, on the Character and Manners of the Inhabitants; with an Account of the Several Branches of Government, (Philadelphia: Translated from the French by William Cobbett; Vol. 1-2, 1789), 43. See Moreau de Saint-Mry, Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo.



prepared. Moreover, the Spanish in Santo Domingo cultivated and consumed agricultural products such as chocolate, coffee, and tobacco.32 As far as sickness and diseases, these were limited in Santo Domingo among the enslaved population, in comparison to other West Indian colonies. In other words, sickness or diseases were rarities. In fact, there were very few surgeons, except in Santo Domingo and even then these physicians were said to be refugees of French Saint Domingue. Nonetheless, the diseases and sicknesses that were most prevalent in the colony were smallpox and leprosy, which were very deadly.33 Regarding the cures of these diseases, many of the Spanish creoles believed for example, one should rub the smallpox with hogs lard, to hasten their maturity and then wash them with urine after they began to dry up.34 In regards to entertainment, the Spanish creoles in Santo Domingo were given in some cases the opportunity to view the opera and comedies. According to Moreau de Saint de-Mry, the Spanish Creole colonists at the turn of the eighteenth century were

It is important to note that coffee expansion in Santo Domingo did not really expand until the latter part of the nineteenth century, especially throughout the Cibao region. See Turits, Foundations of Despotism, 60. In the eighteenth century, there were two cases that were reported in Santo Domingo in regards to leprosy. One was in the town of St. Yago and another was in Santo Domingo. Moreau de Saint-Mry makes a small reference to this. See his volume 1, 57. Moreau de Saint-Mry, 52. For more on medical care on Caribbean plantations see Richard Sheridans, Doctors and Slaves: A Medical and Demographic History of Slavery in the British West Indies, 1680-1834 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
34 33



fond of these various entertainment events.35 As for the enslaved Africans, life was quite different in Santo Domingo. The majority of the enslaved Africans by the late eighteenth century were not bought directly, but rather plundered as spoils at sea, or stolen, and resold.36 Furthermore, enslaved Africans were rarely categorized generically as a unit in Santo Domingo. Instead they were always listed as esclavos franceses or creoles; similarly some were cited as former fugitives escaping harsh crimes, runaways, or illegitimately acquired. In the Spanish colony, not only was slavery perceived as exogenous, as exotic and illegitimate, but blackness was not primarily associated with the slaves condition since most blacks in Santo Domingo were freedmen.37 In fact Moreau de Saint-Mry, wrote on one occasion: It is true, and even strictly so, that the major part of the Spanish colonist are a mixed race: this an African feature, and sometimes more than one, often betrays, but, at the same time, its frequency has silenced a prejudice that would otherwise be a troublesome remembrance.38 This is not to say there was no racism in Santo Domingo. The initiative for reform came on the part of the Spanish crown in late 1700s just as the demand for slaves in Santo Moreau de Saint-Mry, Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo, 146 Moreau de Saint-Mry makes note of several enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue that were stolen from several Spanish colonist during the late 17th and 18th century. Also see Derbys, Race, National Identity, and the Idea of Value on the Island of Hispaniola. Blacks, Coloureds, and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Latin America, 20. Derby, 21. For more blackness in the Dominican Republic see Silvio TorresSaillants Introduction to Dominican Blackness. Moreau de Saint-Mry, Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo, 57.
38 37 36 35


Domingo increased. As a result, the king issued a Real Cedla (Royal Decree) known as the Cdigo Carolino Negro (slave code)39 that specified the food and clothing provisions, the work hours, the required religious instruction, the protected marriages, and the limited punishments, which enslaved Africans were to receive. Of course, as several historians have pointed out the colonial authorities rarely observed these codes and they were not enforced.40 Shortly after the codes reached the Spanish colonies, slave owners in Santo Domingo and in other locations in the Spanish Empire held meetings to discuss the implications that the new law could have on their slave societies. Clearly, these juridical barriers were being frequently violated due to the integration and social advancement of mulattoes in Santo Domingo, which at the time drew protests from the metropolis when freedmen were infringing on the teaching of the priesthood as early as the 1700s.41 Nonetheless, slaveholders did not agree with all the provisions of the Cdigo, they recognized that forces in the Atlantic world threatened the institution of slavery and required reforms to ensure its continued existence.42

Cdigo Carolino Negro of 1785 was modeled after the Code Noir of 1685 which contained several provisions that colonists ignored or deliberately violated. These laws were issued to insure control of the plantation and the enslaved Africans who worked on these estates. These laws remained the foundation for the legal frameworks of the Spanish Caribbean slave society. Franklin Knight, Slave Society in Cuba During the Nineteenth Century (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970), 36. Harry Hoetink, The Dominican People, 1850-1900: Notes for a Historical Sociology, translated by Stephen K. Ault (Baltimore, 1982), 183. This was especially true in Cuba in the nineteenth century. After the British and American Atlantic slave trade ended in 1807 and 1808, a series of calls in the name of humanity to reform, but not abolish, the slave trade came from the island. Slave owners in Cuba increasingly voiced concerns about the high mortality rate of the middle passage. 45
42 41 40


Thus by the time Moreau de Saint-Mry visited Santo Domingo in the eighteenth century, the colony was experiencing a degree of commercial revival as a result of booming sugar economy of neighboring Saint Domingue and the Bourbon Reforms. Saint Domingue planters were importing growing amounts of cattle from Santo Domingo for subsistence needs, as well as to drive their mills, and to transport their manufacturers.43 By trading with the French colony and through the increasingly active port of Monte Cristi, located in the northern region of Santo Domingo, the cattle ranches in the Spanish frontier expanded. In exchange for cattle, Santo Domingo obtained tools, enslaved Africans and their descendents, and various European goods. Moreover, with the establishment of the Bourbon Reforms, liberalized trade and agricultural development plans for Santo Domingo at this time, led to a growth in the colonys commerce. Bourbon policy, obsessed with its increased agricultural production in the Empire facilitated the slave trade, and Bourbon generosity was extended to Spanish creoles who saw the potential of Santo Domingo to become a significant sugar producer, based on slavery. Snchez Valverde commented on the inefficient existence of twenty-two sugar engines in the surrounding region of the capital city. In 1789, these estates altogether employed 500 enslaved Africans. He lamented that these mills were devoted exclusively to the production of syrup, used principally by the Spanish population and only occasionally exported in limited quantities to Puerto Rico. The proprietors, he said needed Negroes, equipment and the advantages of trade. Snchez Valverde further stated:


Our slaves rest or work for themselves almost one third of the yearThe abuse of hiring out slaves for a wage, too widespread in our America, makes a large number of the few we have, useless, because this is a type of Negro who lives without discipline or subjectionThey hide and protect each other and those who escape from the haciendas. The few who do work do so without methods.44 He continued by claiming that the enslaved Africans worked one day and rested the next. He pointed out that the relationship trust between the master and the enslaved African pointed to solidarity. This trusted relationship is evident by Snchez Valverde who reported that many masters in Santo Domingo would in fact have breakfast with their enslaved Africans before they went to the fields to work with them at the same tasks; leading to a social division of labor that was all but nonexistent. In this type of setting enslaved Africans did not run away, as they had done in neighboring Saint Domingue. Moreover, many of these enslaved Africans saved money in order to buy their freedom.45 According to one contemporary account: every slave having it in his power to become free, by purchasing his liberty of his master who cannot refuse to accept the offer, if it amounts to the sum specified by the law, it is natural to believe, that seeing him ever upon the point of becoming as free as himself.46 Snchez Valverde was not the only individual who felt Santo Domingo needed a more rigorous system of slavery. In 1783, Juan Batista Oyarzabal, a planter in Santo Domingo who managed the largest sugar estate called the Boca de Nigua, asked the Snchez Valverde, Idea de Valor, 170. Several historians have also discussed in depth the hiring out of enslaved Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean. For example see Dieve, La esclavitud de negro, vol. 2, 410; Also see Selwyn H.H. Carrington, The Sugar Industry and the Abolition of the Slave Trade 1775-1810 (University Press of Florida, 2002).
45 46 44

Snchez-Valverde, Idea de Valor, 170.

Moreau de Saint-Mry, Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo, 58.


Spanish Crown to import 400 blacks for his plantation.47 The Crown obliged; this led to more enslaved Africans, more production, and more gold to the Spanish treasury. By 1789, the Spanish Crown was eager to stimulate production of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, granting a grace period of two years for the free importation of enslaved Africans. 48 Soon agriculture began to develop. There was a burst of tobacco production in the Santiago area of the Cibao.49 Logging enterprises and the relatively small number of sugar mills also began to expand. Once again the plantation interest arose; hence, the free black and mulatto peasantry that existed since the seventeenth century was seen as a potential source of labor to those interested parties.50 Monte Cristi became a free port, through which North American trade with the French in Saint Domingue was conducted.51 Although, it was a village port with a few huts it was contiguous to northern Saint Domingue. The exports from Monte Cristi were See Chapter 3 for more background information on the Boca de Nigua plantation. Patrick Bryan, The Independencia Efimera of 1821, and the Haitian Invasion of Santo Domingo 1822: A Case of Pre-emptive Independence, Caribbean Quarterly, (1995), 17. Maria Rosario Sevilla Soler, Santo Domingo: Tierra Frontera: 1750-1800 (Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispanico-Americano, 1980), 89-130. All thought there was a revival in the agricultural economy, production in Santo Domingo still remained limiteddue to continued labor scarcity, the breeding livestock, and the need to tightly secure and control agricultural plots. For more explanation see Chapter 1 in Turitss Foundations of Despotism. A State of the Trade carried on with the French on the Island of Hispaniola By the Merchants in North America, Under Colour of Flags of Truce. Occasioned by some Captures of the Said Flags, lately made by his Majestys Ships under the Command of Admiral Cotes (New York, Gaine, 1760), 7. The spelling of the town of Monti Cristi at the time of this period was spelled Monte Cristy. Throughout this study, I will use todays spelling of the city, which is Monti Cristi.
51 50 49 48 47


all French produce, imports went immediately to the adjoining French colony, however, the essential point from the Spanish governor was that fees could be collected from vessels. Consequently, the Spanish governor gave them clearance and charged duties on the sugar and molasses exported.52 This trade with Monte Cristi was carried on mainly by the New England merchants and by a sprinkling of Virginians and West Indians. In order to facilitate the trade, North Americans took up residence at Monte Cristi, purchased French sugar, shipped it from North Americans ports to London where it entered as British sugars, thus violating the preferential system which gave the products of British West Indies a monopoly of the home market.53 The British government while taking an adverse view of the American trade had of course no objection to the trade with the Spanish colonies- in fact a Free Port Act had been passed in 1766 to encourage trade between Spanish ports and ports of the British Caribbean.54 In terms of the possibilities it brought to Santo Domingo, the British Free Port Act made closer commercial connections between British and Spanish ports. Now the ports of Kingston, Savanna-a-Mar, Montego Bay and Lucea in Jamaica were opened to trade with Spanish ports.55 However, the Free Port Act forbade the importation of sugar, coffee, pimento, ginger, molasses and tobacco in foreign vessels. This Act allowed for George Louis Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765 (New York, MacMillian Co. 1922), 97.
53 52

Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765 (New York, MacMillian Co. 1922),

97. See Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean from 1492-1969, (Vintage Books, 1984). Bryan, The Independencia Efimera of 1821, and the Haitian Invasion of Santo Domingo 1822: A Case of Pre-emptive Independence, Caribbean Quarterly , (1995), 19. 49
55 54

the export of enslaved Africans in exchange for a duty of thirty shillings each. By the first half of 1788, of the 86 Spanish vessels entering Jamaica, over a quarter came from Santo Domingo. During the late eighteenth century, the Spanish sector of the island began to trade poultry, rice, cattle, corn and mahogany to Jamaica ports in exchange for ironmongery, salt provisions, and cotton goods of coarse quality, blue Yorkshire blaze, Osnaburgs, and a variety of other articles required for the laborers on wood cutting and agriculture.56 It is clear enough that Santo Domingos imports were partly designed to feed and equip its growing enslaved population. In the Cibao Valley, across the Central range of mountains from the southern capital of Santo Domingo, the tobacco industry experienced growth. According to Moreau de Saint-Mry the tobacco that was sold in Spanish Santo Domingo was not only for personal use but allowed the colonists to engage in smuggling activities with other neighboring colonies.57 In 1778, authorization was given to export the surplus tobacco to Saint Domingue, after the royal factories were supported. Tobacco cultivation spread from Moca to La Vega and Cotui. The town of Santiago became the major distribution center of tobacco, and in the northern port city, Puerto Plata, it became the principal export crop. Figure 1 illustrates during the late eighteenth century, Santo Domingos economic productivity.

James Franklin, The Present State of Hayti (St. Domingue) with remarks on the its Agriculture, Commerce, Laws, Religion, Finances, and Population, etc. (1828) (Frank Cass Reprint, 1971), 36. See Moreau de Saint-Mry, Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo, 63. 50


Figure 1: Roberto Cassa, Mapa XII-2 Regiones Econmicas de La Colonia Espaola (Segunda Mitad del Siglo XVIII, Historia Social y Econmica de La Repblica Dominicana, Tomo I (Editora Alfa y Omega: Santo Domingo, 1994), 247. However, this brief opportunity for commercial expansion between both colonies and the consolidation of plantation interests were quickly terminated at the end of the eighteenth century as a result of the political commotion of the Saint Domingue Revolution. As we will read in Chapters 2 and 3, the 1791 Revolution destabilized the main market for Santo Domingos cattle production, which led to a rapid withdrawal from the colonys frontier to the interior.58 This destabilization of the market in Santo Domingo caused by the Revolution complicated the shifting of colonial powers, which devastated the Spanish colony during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Political commotion and economic difficulties thus converged, imposing a long period of instability and emigration that

Moreover with the starting of the cession of Santo Domingo to France in 1795, the country became, as one Dominican scholar states as nothing more than an enormous battlefield which intervened the forces, alternatively, of the French, the Spanish, the Haitians, and even the English. See Jose Antonio Martinez Bonilla, Origen de la Propiedad en la Republica Dominicana. Doctoral Diss., no. 125 (Universidad de Santo Domingo, 1945), 27. 51

undermined the elite and the islands economic development. In fact, by the turn of the twentieth century, government officials in the Dominican Republic were stating that: The sad occurrences at the end of the eighteenth century and the good part of the first half of the nineteenth century again brought about the ruin of rural property. The plantations were abandoned [and] agriculture was reduced to subsistence plots.59 This alone placed further strain on the already tense relationship between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. While, the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo retained its cattle-ranching economy, managed by a free Creole population, the French colony of Saint Domingue developed a plantation economy supported by capital investment and the continuous importation of slave labor from Africa. Saint Domingues prompt adaptation to agricultural plantations created a dramatic demographic explosion, for at this time there were no plantations without the labor of enslaved Africans. Since economic viability depended strictly on the implementation of the enslaved African labor force, Saint Domingue plantations cried out for man power.60 For the next 60 years, European men and women, enslaved African women

Furthermore, while economic revival in the mid-eighteenth century had uplifted the commercial activity among large cattle herders, tobacco-growing peasantry in the Spanish northern frontier, and other agricultural goods, most of the eastern colony remained an isolated society compared to other West Indian islands. However, at the beginning of the nineteenth century when economic decline was taking place throughout other Caribbean colonies and destroyed any opportunities of a modern plantation economy; the life of peasant not only in Santo Domingo but in neighboring Saint Domingue remained relatively neutral. See Turits, Foundations of Despotism, 38. Michael Duffy, Soldiers, Sugar, and Seapower: The British Expeditions to the West Indies and the War Against Revolutionary France (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) 52


and men, and their children began settling in Saint Domingue. By 1720, there were already 47,000 enslaved Africans in the colony as opposed to 3,000 in the 1690s. By 1730, the enslaved population rose to 80,000 and doubled by 1754 to 172,000. At the end of the Seven Years War (1756-1763), the increase was in excess of 100 percent and the enslaved African population rose to about 465,000.61 Although there were increasingly high mortality rates, growth in the enslaved population came principally from imports, not from natural increase in the population.62 In fact, Saint Domingue, according to Geggus, was becoming progressively more African.63 Captive Africans were imported at a rate in excess of 40,000 yearly and were thus enslaved on the plantations.64 By 1760, Saint Domingue had developed into one of the most profitable and exploitative systems of plantation slavery in world history. Half of the captive Africans who belonged to the final social class in Saint Domingue arrived in the colony because of slavery. They died of disease, overwork, and malnutrition within eight years. To replace

12. Geggus, Sugar and Coffee Cultivation in Saint Domingue and the Shaping of the Slave Labor Force, in Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas, ed. Ira Berlin and Philip Morgan (Charlottesville: Virginia University Press, 1993), 73-98. Geggus, Sugar and Coffee Cultivation in Saint Domingue and the Shaping of the Slave Labor Force, in Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas, ed. Ira Berlin and Philip Morgan (Charlottesville: Virginia University Press, 1993), 73. Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 7.
64 63 62 61

Geggus, Slavery War and Revolution, 1.


their labor and meet the demand of expanding estates, merchants disembarked more enslaved Africans in Cap Franois during the eighteenth century alone than in any other non-Brazilian port over the course of the Transatlantic slave trade. Moreover, because Cap Franaiss plantations were heavily capitalized, with direct access to Atlantic trade routes, they produced more refined sugar than anywhere else in the colony.65 Meanwhile, since European colonization, Santo Domingo was antagonistic towards anything French due to the development and successes of Saint Domingue during the late eighteenth century, even though they benefited from these successes due to trade activity along the frontier region. The frontier region was and continues to be more than just a division; it has become a territory of settlement and human interaction. It was and continues to be a transnational space where people created linkages of trade, communication, kinship, alliance, and customs. During this period, the Spanish colonial population along the frontier grew which was noted observers such as Snchez Valverde and Moreau de SaintMry. However, Spanish officials in Santo Domingo still despised the fact that the French took the western side of the island. Therefore, it took more than a century for the French and the Spanish governments to define the borderline between the two colonies.66 Negotiations were

The quality of this sugar, the regions massive and growing demand for the captive Africans, and its convenient location to commerce with West Africa and France, made Le Cap extremely attractive to slave merchants. They could liquidate their human cargoes and acquire valuable goods in less time and with greater profit than was possible in any other French Caribbean ports. As opposed to the sugar from the southern region that was less developed than other provinces in Saint Domingue. In 1697, the first treaty to establish a border between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue was the Treaty of Ryswick. See Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic (1995) 54


always hampered by military conflict, but in 1777 a definitive official line was agreed on and sanctioned by a treaty known as the Treaty of Aranjuez. The dividing line begins from the city of Monte Cristi and circles around the towns of Dajabn, Hinche, San Raphael, Las Cabaos, and ends at the tip of the colony with the region of Neyba.67 Figures 2 and 3 outline the boundary between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue:

Figure 2: Carte de LIsle St. Domingue Saint Domingue/Haitian Revolution Collection, John Carter Brown Library (Brown University Providence, Rhode Island)

86. The dark curve line on the map is the 1777 boundary line that divided Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue in the eighteenth century. 55

Figure 3: Carte de LIsle St. Domingue Saint Domingue/Haitian Revolution Collection, John Carter Brown Library (Brown University Providence, Rhode Island) The 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez marked a turning point for the economy in Santo Domingo. The treaty allowed freer and less restrained trade across the border for Santo Domingo. Furthermore, the success of sugar production in Saint Domingue and the concomitant importation of thousands of captive Africans served as catalysis for the economic revival of Santo Domingo after the mid-seventeenth century.68 For example, it was noted by Moreau de Saint-Mry that the Spanish cattle ranchers in Santo Domingo welcomed the additional labor force. This was especially true among the ranchers that resided along the frontier region in towns such as St. Rafael and San Miguel de la Atalaya.69 As noted earlier by the mid-eighteenth century, the number of escaped enslaved Africans from parts of Saint Domingue had risen to about 3,000 in Santo Domingo.

A complete copy of the 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez is in Moreau de Saint-Mrys travel account on Santo Domingo. See Moreau de Saint-Mry. Also see Deive, La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo (1980) 502-504. 56


As a result, both colonies learned to coexist and trade, and eventually the economic development of Saint Domingue stimulated the economic and demographic growth of Santo Domingo. The Spaniards sold cattle and tobacco to the French in exchange for manufactured goods that Spain could not supply regularly. The increase of inter-colonial trade brought about economic growth. New houses were built in many of the unused blocks to meet the demand for dwellings. By 1789, because of the economic activities in Saint Domingue, Santo Domingo could show a visible improvement, attracting immigrants from Spain and Hispanic America. Since the beginning of European colonization in Hispaniola, both Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue have been divided in regards to the differences between their economic, political, social, and cultural structure. Santo Domingos colonial society consisted of a colony where slavery was not central to the economy, which in return would shape the concepts behind the meaning of blackness and whiteness and what it meant to be enslaved and/or free.70 In conclusion, the island of Hispaniola became divided into two colonies, governed and controlled by different European colonial economic forces, with different commodity production systems. Saint Domingue was strongly rooted in sugar production while Santo Domingo heavily relied in the livestock industry. These distinctions led to a constant political struggle between the two colonies at the end of the eighteenth century.

Berlin, Many Thousand Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Harvard University Press, 1998). See Silivo Torres-Salliant, Creoleness or Blackness: A Dominican Dilemma. Plantation Society in the Americas, vol. 5, no. 1 (1996), 29-40.



The outcome of this struggle led to a highly developed racialized nationalism that was reenforced during and after the Saint Domingue Revolution.


CHAPTER 2 THE REVOLUTION BEGINS, 1789-1791 AN EARLY SPANISH RESPONSE When I ask the National Assembly for a decree that I received on behalf of the American colonists formerly known under the insulting epithet mixed blood, my claims included nothing about the fate of the ngres who live in slavery.1 Heres to the next insurrection of the negros in the West Indies.2 Many historians have contended that the French Revolution inspired the 1791 Saint Domingue insurrection. The French Revolution with its ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity were dangerous for the different social and cultural groups that resided in Santo Domingo and for those in Saint Domingue. The rebellion of Vincent Og in 1790 represents a turning point for the wealthy mulattos in Saint Domingue, making Og and his partners the paradigm for this class. The chapter discusses briefly the struggles of Saint Domingues society such as the status of free people of color, administration of the colonies, and the question of slavery. This chapter explores the reaction Santo Domingo had towards Ogs rebellion, which ended when he and his co-conspirators were captured and eventually handed over to French authorities in Saint Domingue. The chapter discusses how Ogs rebellion and brief occupation in Santo Domingo sparked the 1791 slave insurrection in Saint Domingue. Ogs rebellion and its repercussions helped shape the conservative views about the Haitian Revolution to the Spanish government officials in Santo Domingo. See Gariggus and Laurent Dubois, Letters from the Uprising of Vincent Oge, in Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents (2006) 77.
2 1

From Samuel Johnson, 1777, cited in Daviss, Inhuman Bondage, 205.


Furthermore, the chapter discusses the story behind the Revolution and the importance Toussaint play in regards to shaping the attitudes of those that resided in Santo Domingo. The chapter illustrates how other key events surrounding the early developments of the Revolution were viewed and exported by the residents in Santo Domingo. The French Revolution in 1789 had a disruptive effect on Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. In Santo Domingo, the inhabitants for the most part considered themselves loyal to Spanish subjects who were different from their western neighbors. Meanwhile, Saint Domingues wealthy mulatto class where determined to become equal in citizenship rights as to their white planter counterparts. This led to white colonists in Saint Domingue firmly believing that the colonys racial hierarchy was an expression of the political, moral, and scientific truths, all of which identified mixed race corruption as a threat to civilization.3 A century of development had entrenched in Saint Domingue a vastly different social order than in France.4 The grand blancs who were at the peak of the social pyramid experienced the impact of the French Revolution strictly in terms of political and
3 4

See Gariggus, Before Haiti (2006). 229.

Similarly opposed to the three legal estates of France, there were legal classes of whites, mulattoes, and enslaved Africans. The similarity between the two social orders largely ends with the legal symmetry. It is enslaving France, the one with all the enslaved Africans, who occupied a huge place in the Haitian Revolution. All three social classes had interpreted the Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizen differently. This could be assumed from the vast difference in social background and economic system. Their colonial interpretations were not only different in substance; their means of interpreting the common phraseologies were also different. Thus, in the three-tier structure of 1789 Saint Domingue society, liberty obviously meant different and oftentimes opposing things to the social groups. This contrasting view indicated from the National Assembly in Paris played a crucial role in the shaping of an already tense situation.


economic matters. The measures in the metropolis signified nothing more than the chance of achieving local autonomy.5 This concept was easily demonstrated in the secret meetings between planters both in Paris and Saint Domingue to ensure their representation during the meeting of the Estates General. In fact, the delegations had little difficulty demonstrating with facts and figures the economic value, indeed indispensability, of the Pearl of the Antilles to the Motherland.6 However, by the summer of 1789, with the fall of the old regime, the institutions that held the social and political aspirations of the people began to unravel. Saint Domingue suddenly was ready for civil war between wealthy planters and the royalists. From this vantage point, it is important to understand that the Revolution began, on the one hand, as a political movement, with white colonists seeking the autonomy of Saint Domingue,7 and not with a slave rebellion. For historians such as Lester Langley, the Revolution amounted to a conflict between whites and free coloreds over social equality.8 While, others, such as Michael Craton, argued that it was conflict between free coloreds and blacks.9 Recalling the American Revolution some of the most furious

5 6 7

Craton, Testing the Chains (1982), 164. Foster, The French Revolution, 90.

Robert Stein, "The Free Men of Color and the Revolution in Saint-Domingue, 1789-1792," Histoire Sociale-Social History, 14 (1981) 7. Langley, The Americas, 119. Historians such as Craton argued that this sympathy for Americans stemmed chiefly from the fact that greater autonomy would mean, among other things, tighter control over the enslaved Africans, not true democracy.
9 8

Craton, Testing the Chains, 164.


planters spoke openly on independence.10 This withdrawal attitude, which became a traditional practice among the colonists, was already prevalent from 1760-1780. Admired by American independence from Britain and Frances role in the War of Independence many of the colonists in Saint Domingue sought to attain a certain degree of freedom.11 On the other hand, the Revolution also ended as a political movement where non-whites proclaimed the independence of Haiti. Keeping in mind that colonial politics was no more than one factor which caused the Revolution, it must be noted that the colonists disagreed on almost everything: from the degree of autonomy afforded in Saint Domingue to the classes of whites and free coloreds having a voice in political committees to serving together in the military. As events in Paris increasingly came to be seen as a threat, the colonists were resolved to keep the social structure intact. De Lacroix wrote: All unanimously subscribed to the same credo: continuity of slavery, necessary to plantation economy, autonomy of the colony [Saint Domingue] in administration and in commerce.12 During the same year, The Socit des Amis des Noirs (Society of Friends of the Blacks),13 which campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade and for equal rights for free coloreds, spoke of European not African roots in their discourse on the free

10 11

Langley, The Americas, 107.

Salvator de Madariaga, The Fall of the Spanish American Empire (New York: MacMillan, 1948), 319. Gnral Pamphile de Lacroix, La Rvolution de Hati: Edition prsente et annote par Pierre Pluchon (Paris, 1995) 9.
13 12

An anti-slavery society founded in 1788 in Paris by Jacques Pierre Brissot.


coloreds.14 This group had decided to restrict its involvement in the slave trade and not to the abolition of slavery.15 However, in the colonial mind, racial discrimination was the reinforcement of slavery. Hence, free coloreds both in Paris and Saint Domingue demanded that the National Assembly live up to the ideas behind the doctrine of the Declaration. However they carefully never advocated extension of liberty, equality, and fraternity to the majority of the enslaved Africans.16 They never actually took a stand against enslavement; instead they saw it as the greatest necessity, making their approach almost reactionary. By 1790, fears for the stability of the slave regime reinforced the colonists deep-seated prejudice. It then became evident that the colonists wanted to keep the free coloreds out of politics. Faced with this situation, the free coloreds militia joined the governors forces, which suppressed the Colonial Assembly, but the administration proved that they too were not willing to grant political equality despite race.17 Saint Domingues wealthy men of color were more enthusiastic than most planters about these changes taking place. For these free men of color, the changes
14 15

Pamphile de Lacroix (1995), 9.

Robin Blackburn makes this interesting point that the early popular aversion to slavery was expressed in the form of advocacy that slavery and slave trading be prohibited within particular territories or confined to particular regions. Because of this, popular sentiment, which was opposed to slavery in the metropolis, was more easily reconciled to the existence of slavery in the tropical and sub-tropical regions or colonies. See Blackburns, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (London: Verso, 1988).
16 17

Craton, Testing the Chains, 164.

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028. Expediente sobre la revolucion y Guerra de la colonial francesa, 1790. Pedro Catani al Conde de Floridablanca 29 de diciembre de 1790. Catani, Dean of the Real Audiencia de Santo Domingo, believed that the reason as to why there was such a division in Saint Domingue had to do with the big whites not giving any authority to the free coloreds, the small whites not wanting the free coloreds to gain any advantages beyond their class, and the free coloreds distinguishing themselves from enslaved Africans. 63

provided them with the opportunity the step up their demands for an end to racial discrimination. At the same time these events in Paris where taking place, a free colored by the name of Vincent Og was in the city on business. Og was the son of a wealthy white man, who owned valuable urban property and traded coffee and imported French products into the colony. In 1789, while residing in Paris on business, Og began to attend meetings held by a group of Parisian free blacks. These meetings where headed by Dejoly who was a white lawyer and member of the Society of Friends of the Blacks. While in Paris, Og presented an argument to the Hotel Massiac in favor of granting rights to free people of color, stressing the need to preserve property and to end the disaster that threatened them. The goal was to force whites into accepting the Declaration of the Rights of Men as universal with its submission falling into French Saint Domingues specifics. Og, along with Julien Raimond,18 appeared at the National Assembly. They presented a petition demanding an end to racist laws and the rights for free men of color to vote in local assembles in Saint Domingue and have representatives in the National Assembly. The assembly agreed to consider their request and the president declared that no citizen will demand his rightsin vain.19 Hence, Og and Raimond fought for

Julien Raimond was a wealthy indigo planter of one-quarter African descent. It was said that he owned more than a hundred enslaved Africans by the 1780s. Raimond moved to France in 1784 where his speeches and pamphlets helped to convince the National Assembly to dismantle colonial racism. Historians such as Garrigus and Dubois assert that Raimond made racism, not enslavement, the top colonial issue in Paris. See Garrigus, Before Haiti, (2006) who has one extensive research on Raimond and other wealthy indigo and coffee planters in southern Saint Domingue.


Cited in Dubois, Avengers of the New World, (2004): 81.


rights by presenting their demands to the planters of the Club Massiac. Raimond spoke of a plan that consisted of rights that would be granted to only quadroons who were born of legitimate parents and could claim at least claim two generations of freedom behind them. Og on the other hand presented a more challenging plan that granted rights to both free coloreds along with the abolition of slavery. He believed that this was the only way one could prevent a revolt among the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue. Due to the lack of support, Og left France despite attempts by the Club Massiac to prevent him from doing so. Prior to his return to Saint Domingue, however, he stopped in London, where he met with the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson as well as in Charleston, South Carolina. Afterwards, Og secretly arrived in Saint Domingue in 1790 where he traveled to the town of Dondon, which was located south of Le Cap. During his brief tenure in Saint Domingue, Og decided to back up the demands of the free coloreds. As he stated to Clarkson in London, the free coloreds were ready to take up arms to make themselves independent and respectable.20 In the town of Dondon, Og and his fellow conspirator Chavannes found support and it was here where they mobilized an army of several hundred supporters. Moreover, he gathered support in the in the parish of Grand Riviere. The army they created demanded the governor to put an end to racial discrimination and to obtain electoral equality in Saint Domingue.21 In a letter written by Og in 1790 and addressed to Governor Peinier, he reports that:
20 21

Debien, Colons de Saint Dominge, 196, 222.

Debien, tudes Antillaises, 15. J.L Franco, Historia de la revolucin, 200. These free coloreds along with 300 Suizos maroons organized at the church of Saint 65

Mister, you appreciate the merit of a man whose intention is pure: what I have asked of the National Assembly is a right which there I am obtained in favor of the American colonies known formerly under the mestizos and not comprehend in my claims the freedom of the black that live in the slavery; you and all our adversaries have poisoned my procedures to make me be inferior with the honest inhabitants. No, no mister we have not made but protest by a class of free men who were under the yoke of the two oppression of century: we want the execution of the decree of 28 March, we persisted in the promulgation and we will not stop to repeat to our friends who are our adversaries are unjust and that they do not know to conciliate his interests with ours.22 However, three hundred free coloreds was only a clique without the enslaved Africans and certainly no match for the National Guard. They were quickly dispersed by the troops of Colonel Cambefort with the survivors taking refuge in Santo Domingo in the frontier town of Hinche.23 The frontier region between Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue, provided the free coloreds the security they needed. Prior to this, rumors had been circulating throughout the region regarding Ogs movement and his revolutionary ideas. According to Don Francisco Pepn, Commander Lacruz of Bousquets had discussed with him that he had heard that several free coloreds from Saint Domingue had escaped into Santo Domingo.24 He further noted that they were secretly conspiring and spreading

Louis which was located in Mirebalais. The Suizos maroons resided in around the city of Mirebalais. The Suizoss involvement in Ogs rebellion illustrates the importance maroons placed on the beginning development of the Saint Domingue Revolution. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029, Expediente de la revolucion y guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Copia carte al Sr. Presidente del Guarico, Papeles manuscritos de Og, no. 86, 29 de octubre de 1790. The Spanish in Santo Domingo referred to Limonade in Saint Domingue as Guarico. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029, Expediente de la revolucion y guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Testimonio del Expediente del mulato frances Vincent Og.
24 23 22

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029, Expediente de la revolucin y 66

their ideas of equality and freedom to those individuals that resided along the Spanish frontier.25 Spanish official views on the free colored rebellion from Saint Domingue were mixed. It was clear from the start that Governor Garca did not want to take any part in the events in Saint Domingue. In an address to Og and his leaders, Garca firmly asserted that Og was not only head of the sedition of the people of color of its towns, but also of ours.26 Meaning that Ogs ideas were not only embedded within Saint Domingues free people of color but also were being passed on to those free colors who made up Santo Domingos population as well. Furthermore, the outlook on the free coloreds of Saint Domingue in Santo Domingo was that: the free man of color resembles the target that has the title of citizenship and the prerogatives: that the free black man also is a separate class, but that does not humiliate nor makes disgusts of its existence, but I say it and I repeat it: all man anyone in the slavery must be obtain freedom: he is not of property and there is but no resistance and no discussion in the colony.27

guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Carta de Don Francisco Pepn a Joaqun Garca, Cahobas, 15 de diciembre de 1789. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029, Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Carta de Don Francisco Pepn a Joaqun Garca, Cahobas, 15 de diciembre de 1789. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1027, Expediente de la revolucin y Guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Carta de Don Antonio Vicente de Faura, abogado de los Reales Consejos, Asesor de Gobierno y Capitana General de la Isla de Espaola, a Floridablanca 29 de diciembre de 1789. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029, Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791. Papeles manuscriptos de Og. No. 159, Reflexiones sobre el cuaderno que contiente algunas quejas, duelos y reclamaciones de los ciudadanos libres y propietarios de color. 67
27 26 25

Yet, Spanish officials, such as Pedro Catani, argued that the free coloreds from Saint Domingue should be grateful to the Spanish authorities in Santo Domingo.28 Why because they allowed them to come to their side of the island. Moreover, Antonio Vincent de Faura, the lawyer representing Santo Domingo, had reported that the mulattoes in Saint Domingue had land and wealth but could not form part of the Society of Friends of the Blacks. Moreover, Faura argued that these free coloreds continued to align themselves with the whites because this relationship was important for them.29 However, the fate of these rebels from Saint Domingue was reached to an end when they were extracted back to the French colony. As a result of the French authorities pressuring the Spanish authorities to comply with the provisions of the 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez, regarding runaway enslaved Africans and deserters Og and his friends were extradited to Saint Domingue on December 29th.30 There was little remorse from Governor Garca who wrote that he watched "these miserable ones with all possible compassion.31

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028, Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonial francesa, 1791. Pedro Catani al Conde de Floridablanca, 29 de diciembre de 1790. AGI, Audienca de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028, Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonial francesa, 1790.Don Antonio Vicente de Faura, abogado de los Reales Consejos, Asesor del Gobierno y Capitania General de la Isla Espaola, a Floridablanca, 29 de Diciembre de 1790. The 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez was formulated and finalized by Spain and France to recognize both sides of the island. See Chapter 1 for more on the stipulations of the treaty. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1029 Expediente de la revolucion y Guerra de la colonia francesa, 1791 Carta de Don Francisco Pepn a Joaquin Garca, Cahobas, 15 de diciembre de 1789. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028, Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonial francesa, 1790. Carta no. 22 de Garcia a Floridablanca. 21 de 68
31 30 29


After their return to Saint Domingue, a lengthy trial followed; both Og and Chavannes suffered the excruciating punishment of being broken on the wheel in the presence of the whole provincial assembly. The Og Rebellion was a disastrous eyeopener to the mulatto, free and enslaved African onlookers. On May 15, 1791, upon hearing of the revolt of the free coloreds in Saint Domingue and---the juridical assassination of Og, the National Assembly in Paris which had taken a vague position on the question of color, agreed to political rights for everyone born of two free parents. As one contemporary wrote: the proceedings of the government with respect to the revolt of Og, and the very unjust execution of the latter, excited great animosity between the whites and the people of colour, the latter of whom had collected in large bodies in various parts. In the western and southern districts they formed encampments, and displayed a determination to resist the oppression and the unjust decrees of the governor. At Jeremie and at Aux Cayes in particular, a most formidable body had collected, well armed and accounted, and shrewd a great desire to come in contact with the government troops.32 The French revolutionaries were appalled by this decision. For one thing, it forever dishonored the myth of a natural and spontaneous alliance between whites and free coloreds.33 Although the act only concerned a very small proportion of free coloreds, it created what one contemporary appropriately termed as a political cul-desac in Saint Domingue.34 The whites were determined to reduce the power of the free

diciembre de 1790.
32 33 34

Franklin, The Present State of Hayt, 55-56. Trouillot, Incovenience of Freedom, 158.

Trouillots explanation of this dead-end was follows: The free colored were too imbued of the revolutionary fervor in France to negotiate with the metropolitan leaders over a support many already took for granted. As the same time, they were as remote from the revolutionary movement to be viewed as its wholehearted followers. 69

men of color with force by concentrating their efforts of the colonists. Along with the governors refusal to publicize the decree not pacifying the whites, the fate of Saint Domingue was sealed. Moreover, news from Paris that King Louis XVI was antagonistic to the French Revolution and made an effort to flee from the capital made matters even worse. It was a complicated situation. The conflict between the colonial whites and the free coloreds continued in Saint Domingue along with the distractions of the events taking place in France. To the inhabitants in Santo Domingo, they believed it was best to distance themselves from the conflicting events that were taking place in Saint Domingue. However, they soon would learn that events that were beginning to take place in Saint Domingue would again be exported to their side of the island and once again disrupt their colony. In August of 1791, the enslaved Africans of Saint Domingue took everyone by surprise with an insurrection in the North providences. The insurrection that broke out was by no means a spontaneous event. For some time, the enslaved Africans in the northern region had been consciously preparing and organizing a revolt. It was quite common on Sundays that slave representatives from the major plantations would meet secretly to lay the plans for an insurrection, but in the case of Saint Domingue it was on the night of the fourteenth, one week before the actual outbreak, that the final scheme was drawn up and the instructions were given out. Numbering some two hundred in all, consisting of two delegates each from all the plantations of Port-Margo, Limb, Acul, Petite-Anse, Limondade, Plaine du Nord, Quartier-Morin, and Morne-Rouge covering


the entire central region of the Northern Providence, they were assembled to fix the date for the revolt that had been in planning for some time.35 They all met at the Lenormand de Mezy plantation in the providence of MorneRouge; all the delegates belonged to the elite of enslaved persons. They were for the most part enslaved Africans in whom the masters had placed most confidence by providing them certain positions within the plantation complex such as coachmen, overseer, or domestic house worker. The enslaved Africans who were at the meeting were told that it was the white masters and the colonial authorities who refused to consent and that royalist troops were on their way from France to execute the decree by force. This news was false, but for the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue it represented the nearest thing to freedom. Moreover, this news served as rallying points in which they were able to solidify and channel into open rebellion.36 Although the majority of the delegates at this meeting agreed in principle that they should await the arrival of the royalist troops, the slave representatives from some of the plantations in the provinces of Limb and Acul, insisted upon instigating the war against the whites at whatever cost, with or without the troops. In the end, they nearly agreed to begin the revolt that very night, but then went back on this decision and decided that it was best to begin on the twenty-second.37 The early leaders forming the core movement were Boukman Dutty, Jeannot Bullent, and Georges Biassou.38

Geggus estimates that the total number of plantations these enslaved Africans came from was about 100 or so. See, Geggus, Maroonage, Voodoo, and the Saint Domingue Revolution,
36 37


See Fick The Making of Haiti. See Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies. 71

Boukman and Jeannot, took charge of the initial stages of the movement. At the first gathering, Boukman, an enslaved African who was said to have been born in Jamaica, was the one who gave the signal for the revolt. In a forest clearing close to a plantation called Le Caman, black leaders from various plantations and maroon bands gathered. According to the legend, a voodoo ceremony was performed where the gods were summoned. A black pig was sacrificed and the participants at the ceremony drank its blood. 39 This was similar to the action of the Dahomean tribe in Africa when a blood pact was sealed. That very night, the revolt began.40

38 39

The Spanish spelling of Georges Biassou was Jorge Baissou.

JCB, M. Dalmas, Historie de la Revolution de Saint-DomingueDespus le Commencement des Troubles, Jusqu a la prise de Jeremine et du Mole S. Nicholas Par Les Anlais Suivir dun Memore sur le retablissment de cette colonie, Vol. 1, 117-118. is only one contemporary account that discusses the famous Bois Caman ceremony in its entirety. Voodoo constituted an important organizational tool for the resistance and for the initiation of the Revolution in Saint Domingue. Not only was the religion an organizational tool for resistance, it facilitated secret meetings, as the initiation and the adherence of enslaved Africans of diverse origins. But more importantly, it provided a network of communication between those enslaved Africans from different plantations who gathered clandestinely to participate in the ceremonies such as the Bois Caman, and secure the pledge of solidarity and secrecy of those involved in the plots against their slave master. See Robin Laws paper, On the African Background to the Slave Insurrection in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) in 1791: The Bois Caiman Ceremony and the Dahomian Blood Pact. I would like to personally thank Dr. Law for sending me a copy of his paper. In a few days one-half of the fertile North plain was set on fire. The town of Cap Franois too was a wall of fire. For nearly three weeks the citizens of Saint Domingue could barely distinguish night from day, due to the thick black volumes of smoke that surrounded them. Consequently, one group or another was accused in the aftermath of the rebellion. Any black was regarded as the enemy and mercilessly massacred and hung. Even those who never left the plantations perished as the others. Nonetheless, if any outside factors were involved, they soon found out that enslaved Africans were resolved to decide their own fate.


The Saint Domingue Revolution itself was a progressive one at its time. Prior to 1791, a slave revolt never straightforwardly confronted the capitalist system of the plantation economy. Instead, they were viewed as non-threatening to planters.41 According to Gabriel Debien: Never in their monthly reports did the managers regard maroonage as a serious ill. For this standpoint, Saint Domingue is quite different from Jamaica. No one is worried about the runaways even up to the eve of the Revolution where the planters, ardent buyers of labor, were obliged to accept captives from different origin and quality.42 Therefore, by 1791, the leadership was dominated by creole enslaved Africans who were spreading the ideology of the Revolution on the 8,000 plantations in the region.43 Fundamental and irrelevant variables also played a key role in the success of the Revolution. Internal pressure and external conflicts reached an unprecedented level, and these groups participating in the social and political turmoil ultimately led to the elimination of order in Saint Domingue.44 France by 1793 was at war with both England

41 42

Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution, xvii.

Debien, Les Travaux dHistoire sur Saint Domingue, Revue dHistoire des Colonies 34 (1974): 45. However, John Thornton asserts that the action of the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue in claiming their connection to religion is a significant factor to the Revolution and the beliefs behind Voodoo for it secured the solidarity and loyalty of individual war-bands, rather than unity at the level of insurrection as a whole. Furthermore, it is very plausible that the African religious background to the Haitian Revolution is connected to the ethnic traditions which probably played a role in its insurrection among the enslaved Africans. See Thornton, African Soldiers in the Haitian Revolution. Journal of Caribbean History, 25 (1993): 58-80; and I Serve the King of the Kongo: African Political Ideology in the Haitian Revolution. Journal of World History, 4 (1993): 181-214. See Hunt, Haitis Influence on Antebellum America: Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1988) 11.
44 43


and Spain, and it underestimated the enslaved Africans growing political awareness in regards to gaining their freedom.45 Hence, Saint Domingue had been taken aback by political conflict. Moreover, the enslaved Africans were becoming a vital part of the rebellion in the North, but the leaders were mostly creole enslaved Africans who had been born in the colony. These leaders also consisted of a number of free men of African descent most of them free blacks. Toussaint Breda, who took the name of Louverture was among this particular group. Toussaint, who a few months earlier had joined the Spanish militia and emerged as an extraordinary military commander, demonstrated an intuitive gasp both the science of war and the art of diplomacy.46 Despite his assimilation into creole culture, Toussaint did not lose his African roots. 47 His full name was Franois Dominique Toussaint

Beckles, The 200 Hundred Years War, 3. In the leadership were Boukman, Franois, Jeannot, Biassou, and Toussaint all highly accomplished craftsmen were very much dedicated to their well-known planters. Acculturated Creole leaders, they were nevertheless enslaved men who joined in the battle against the French, Spanish, and British. But it would be Louverture who would surface as the ultimate commander-inchief. 46 Hickey, Americas Response, 363. Gaouguinou, Toussaints grandfather, was the second son of the King of Aradas ethnic group. He had been purchased from Africa by a Portuguese trader at the famous Wydah market in Dahomeny. Two months later, after the dreadful middle passage, he was sold in the market-place at Cap Franois, Haiti. According to the Arada tribe, Voodoo (Vodun) signifies an all powerful, supernatural being. Knowledge of the past, learning of the present, and foreknowledge of the future are all attributed to this being. With this in mind one can certainly understand the importance of Toussaint in the Voodoo ceremony of Bois Caman in 1791. If indeed, the true leaders of the Saint Domingue Revolution all participated in that ceremony, including Creole Africansthe acculturated ones, Toussaint must have been quite a participant if not the organizer himself given not only his Arada origin but also his kinship. Another consideration is that many maroons must have been at that ceremony. Now if marronages ultimate aim is to recreate the life left behind in Africa at the confines of Western society, as it is claimed, part of that re-creation includes a selection process involving people of the same tribe. Given that it was voodoo ceremony, most of these enslaved Africans must have 74


Brda who originally served in the slave rebel forces as the secretary to the first leader, Jean Franois (see Chapter 3). He lived forty years in enslavement. However, as an exslave, Toussaint was in a much better position to appreciate the aspirations of the enslaved population than other affranchi leaders. 48 Such enslaved Africans who lived right at the intersection between the white and black soldiers tended to have one foot in each world. Therefore, it is not shocking that one of Toussaints characteristics as a military commander was his ability to outmaneuver his enemies in the battlefields. Toussaints behavior during the August insurrection remains a mystery. Some historians suggest that he had nothing to do with the uprising and at first looked after the Breda plantation for several months until he joined the rebels.49 Others suggest that Toussaint himself clandestinely organized the rebellion, claiming that he had served as a secret intermediary between the conjurors and the instigators of the revolution by using his contacts among leaders of the enslaved community but astutely remaining in the

been from the Aradas tribe. Who else is better fit to serve as the organizer than Toussaint Louverture, the prince of the Aradas tribe? After 1770, the term affranchi was increasing used to refer to free people of color. The word means freedman in the sense of ex-slave or emancipated person. In Saint Domingue, this group consisted mostly of women, numbering about 27,500 by 1789 and about 15% of affranchis resided in urban areas such as Le Cap and Port-auPrince. Affranchis took advantage of the rapid rise of coffee cultivation, and by the middle eighteenth century they were planters in their own right. A few of them were even sugarcane planters, but this was rare and most were excluded by their inability to inherit or own money beyond a specified amount. This explains their concentration in coffee production as well as various trades and commerce. According to King in Blue Coat or Powered Wig? Free People of Color in Post-Revolutionary Saint Domingue (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001) Toussaints name did not appear on the slave lists on the Breda plantation in 1785. This has given several historians reason to believe that he was a free man during years leading up to the Revolution.
49 48


shadow.50 One thing that is clear is that Toussaint stayed with the French slave rebels until 1792. Having joined the Spanish army in Santo Domingo around the month of June in 1793, Toussaint quickly distinguished himself from the rest. He welcomed to his camp deserters and stragglers from the French military, using them to train his soldiers and to provide staff work: French curs were employed as secretaries.51 In nine months, his army grew from a few hundred to several thousand men.52 Confronted with a series of outbreaks, the Spanish troops had little choice but to stay cautiously on the Santo Domingo border. Their dream of having Saint Domingue and Santo Domingo reunited under the Spanish Crown as one flourishing Spanish colony was quickly diminishing (see Chapter 3). Their success was, for the most part due to Toussaints backing and his black supporters. This raises the difficult question of why Toussaint abruptly abandoned the Spanish in the spring of 1794 and joined forces with the French (see Chapter 3). Toussaints change of tack was not simply an egotistic matter. By mid-1793, it would seem that his plan was to end slavery.53 His refusal to join the French from then on could probably be attributable to Frances position along with the Spanish propositions including freedom, exemptions, enjoyments and other prerogatives. At this point, Toussaint probably saw himself as the alternative and was inviting the blacks to

50 51 52 53

Sannon, Historie, 1: 88. Blackburn, The Overthrow, 218. Geggus has reported that the numbers as to how many individuals were Fick, The Making of Haiti, 83. 76

treat with mistrust and suspicion on the commissioners cause.54 At any rate, having joined the Spanish, Toussaint was fighting to conserve the plantation regime, not enslavement, and at the same time speaking of general emancipation. This situation got ugly in early 1794 when the sincerity of the Spanish government began to wear thin as Spain looked like they might liberate the enslaved Africans in their colony.55 Moreover, several Spanish dependents had started to return to the occupied zones. At this point, after almost a year of idleness, the Spanish political authorities made it clear that they would under no circumstances countenance any attacks on slavery56 and thought about setting off an attack on Cap Franais. In the end, the Spanish occupying forces strict order was to preserve the slave regime, Spain never intended to abolish slavery in the first place.57 Therefore, it can be argued that it was the result of Spains refusal to end slavery that Toussaint decided to side with the French in 1794. This sudden siding of Toussaint with France constitutes an important step in the Revolution. Nevertheless, for several months Toussaint continued his diplomatic operation by insightfully playing on both sides of the island while evaluating the political situation in the region and in Europe. One may certainly ask whether Toussaints volte-face was prompted by sheer idealism or ambition. What is clear, however, is that his decision was not a single-

54 55 56

Fick, The Making of Haiti, 185. Fick, The Making of Haiti, 185.

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028 Expediente sobre la revolucion y Guerra de la colonia francesa, 1790 Pedro Catani al Conde de Floridablanca 29, de diciembre de 1790. This is certainly expressed in their conservative views towards the Og rebellion and with the Saint Domingue Revolution. 77

handed initiative. Toussaints resolve was, nonetheless, the turning point of the Revolution and the turning point for the Spanish in Santo Domingo. Now associated with the ideology of the French Revolution, black militancy became linked with the overthrow of enslavement in the Americas. The movement for black self-liberation was placed center stage. For the next couple of years, a period of steady warfare proceeded in Hispaniola. Thousands of Saint Domingue soldiers died in their attacks on the well-entrenched positions of the British and Spanish. At the same time, enslaved Africans had shown themselves skillful in their use of surprise attacks, their capability of great endurance, and the difficulty in pinning them down. Moreover, Toussaint added the ability to maneuver in large numbers with a tactical genius few could match. His knowledge of the surrounding terrain, plantations, villages, and roads he acquired while fighting for both the Spanish and French worked to his advantage along with the knowledge he gained from his enslaved experiences and his discussions and understandings of what the enslaved Africans wanted. By 1794, the Spanish and their black auxiliaries had lost half of their conquests, and even their own frontier towns of San Rafael, Hinche, and Fort Dauphin which had been unexpectedly invaded by Toussaint between October 20 and 21 of that year. This made it clear to the Spanish, especially Garca that all hopes of reviving the plantation economy in Santo Domingo failed. They had little choice but to leave, but not before stripping the sugar estates and sending their enslaved Africans and equipment to Cuba, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.


Defeated in Europe and in the Caribbean, Spain was forced eventually to pull out of the war. In fact in 1795, France compelled Spain to withdraw from the anti-French coalition and ceded the eastern portion of Hispaniola.58 Under the 1795 Treaty of Basel, Santo Domingo became untenable and had to be surrendered to France, which for the time being could not occupy it. The following year Spain became an ally of the French Republic. However, the whole West province to the South of it had fallen under British control and their planter allies. The British also held the naval bases in Mole Saint Nicolas and Grande Anse, one of the wealthiest coffee growing region of Saint Domingues south peninsula. Up to 1796, the British government had anticipated conquering Saint Domingue and adding it to its Atlantic empires. From then on, they resigned themselves to failure but did not withdraw and expose their own slave colonies to attack. During their first two years in Saint Domingue, the British forces were meager and could not fare any better. However, by 1796 with what is dubbed as one of the greatest expeditionary forces in British history,59 these troops lacked immunity to tropical diseases. British commanders were forced to continue mainly with a defensive strategy against Toussaint. Toussaints status within Frances occupied zone grew more dominant during these years. The new Republic had no doubt on whom to depend for keeping Saint

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 11. Fr. Fernando Portillo, Arzobispo de Santo Domingo, al ministro Manuel Godoy, sobre las divisions creadas entre los negros de la colonia. David Brion Davis The Impact of the French and Haitian Revolutions, in The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, ed. David Geggus (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2001), 6. 79


Domingue in French hands. Toussaint was pronounced deputy-governor, and the following year, he appointed himself commander-in-chief. The central government could not have upheld the authority of a white officer in that position. Meanwhile, the republics position was uncertain. Not only were the British heavily placing troops, into the colony, but also the conflict became widespread in the republican zone. Lger Sonthonax, a member of the Society of Friends of the Blacks who had awarded full citizenship to the free coloreds and freedom to the enslaved Africans returned to Saint Domingue in May 1796 with four other civil commissioners and 900 white soldiers after leaving the colony in 1794. In their attempt at centralizing control of both the war and the economy, they made a lot of enemies. Moreover, efforts to raise the productivity level of the surviving plantations heightened the fears among the ex-slaves that the reinstitution of enslavement was near. The Revolution in Saint Domingue showed that by now, it was outright freedom including their own ways to pursue the material conditions of self determination60 for which the enslaved Africans longed. Saint Domingue was to endure these crises only at the cost of seeing a more influential and successful Toussaint. In fact it was Toussaints tactic of negotiation that finally reconciled the blacks in Saint Domingue. By this time, Toussaints enemies had all been eliminated, including Sonthonax, who was forced to depart to France by 1797. Toussaints power was fast increasing. Moreover, in order to force the British out of Saint Domingue, he collaborated with the mulatto Andre Rigaud in the South. But as soon as their common enemy, the British, had been eliminated, relations between the two


Fick, The French Revolution in Saint Domingue, 54.


soldiers rapidly deteriorated as each wanted power but had different methods of getting it. It was rightly believed that if the mulattoes emerged triumphant, they would establish the political and economic agenda, to the detriment of the freed slaves and even the black elite.61 In the beginning of 1800, Toussaint ruled supreme in Hispaniola and inevitably was acclaimed its governor.62 As the war ended in the south, Toussaint set about one of his main goals which was achieving the freedom of the former enslaved Africans and rebuilding Hispaniolas economic prosperity. The only way to do this was by restoring its economy. Although he was dedicated to the freedom of the enslaved Africans, Toussaint believed that the plantation regime should be revived in order to restore the colonys prosperity. Evidently, the economy could survive without the planters but not without the labor force. With no export economy, there would be no revenue to maintain Toussaints army of 20,000 to 40,000 soldiers. Without the army, the Saint Domingue Revolution would be at the mercy of the French. Toussaint therefore had a choice but he continued with Sonthonaxs plan which was to depend on the volunteer labor of the blacks and by permitting a system of bringing together the production. This system would consist of ex-enslaved Africans labor on the plantations in return for a 25 percent share of the produce.63 One historian has referred to this system as agrarian capitalism.64 The
61 62

Treudley, The United States and Santo Domingo, 130.

It is important to remember that since 1795, Santo Domingo was ceded to France, therefore when Toussaint became governor of Saint Domingue, by the stipulations of the Treaty was also governor of Santo Domingo. This land system still exists today in many regions of Haiti. While it is no longer the ownership or renting of abandoned farmland left behind by white planters it is still the actual renting of the land by the proprietor to a farmer for a percentage of the produce. 81

implementations of this policy became increasingly difficult as those enslaved Africans were soon to be considered the plantation owners themselves instead of known just as simple farmers and/or laborers. On the other hand, Toussaint rejected the idea of rupturing the plantations and decided to revive the export economy by drafting the black cultivators into the service of the state.65 Toussaint used the army to sanction his economic policy by encouraging the return of the white planters to take charge of their properties by working towards the creation of a new Saint Domingue. The return of the planters raised suspicions among the newly freed Africans and some of Toussaints officers. It has been argued that Toussaint thought that the technical expertise of the western powers was the key in order to reconstruct the colony. However, many have stressed that although Toussaint encouraged the return of whites, he very seldom gave them back their plantations. These plantations for the most part remained in the hands of his military officers.66 By 1799, France had obtained a military strongman known as Napoleon Bonaparte. In fact, it had been noted that Toussaint and Napoleon had a lot in common. Both were protectors of revolutionary gains and dictators who destroyed all political liberties in their respective territories.

One very good explanation of this economic structure is Trouillots Haiti, State Against Nation: The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism. Tim Matthewson, Jefferson and Haiti, The Journal of Southern History 6 (May 1995): 213. The reason as to why these white planters were asked to return to the colony may have been used to serve as a camouflage.
66 65



By the spring of 1801, Toussaint and Saint Domingue would be of no assistance to France. This was caused by the fact that Toussaints government had made a secret commercial treaty with England and the United States; the two powers with which France was at conflict. In this treaty, the British promised to leave Saint Domingue and in return Toussaint guaranteed that he would never invade or propagandize any slave insurrection in Jamaica or the United States.67 Furthermore, the treaty ensured the denial of entry to French warships into Saint Domingues ports. The goal of this policy was to guard the trade, on which Toussaints regime had depended. Faced with the situation, Napoleons commercial policy, which included Saint Domingues self-sufficiency for its necessities of all other sources of supply other than Louisiana, was in danger. Napoleon had hoped to increase the economic, social, and political networks of the French possessions in the Americas and the elimination of the United States from the prosperous trade, which they had with Saint Domingue. However, Toussaints time was short lived and he was quickly captured, deported, and eventually died in France. The fighting was continued by his lieutenant Jean Jacques Dessalines. While crushing the revolutionary leaders who would not accept his authority, Dessalines managed to unite officers from various forces in May 1803. In 1804, Saint Domingue declared its independence and changed its name to Ayti (Haiti), used by the indigenous inhabitants at the time of Columbuss arrival. The Saint Domingue Revolution was unique because it destroyed the wealthiest planter class in the Atlantic world and defeated the armies of France, Spain, and England. See Scotts, The Common Wind, which shows the spreading of news during the Haitian Revolution and how it was shaping the political climate among the various New World populations.


Haiti became the great experiment, the crucial test case for the ideas of race, slavery, and the future of the Caribbean. It was the first true Revolution for freedom and demonstrated the accomplishments of a former enslaved population. For Santo Domingo, the Revolution enhanced the Spanish authorities mistrust towards Saint Domingue. Ogs stance, in particular, not only represented a turning point for prosperous mulattoes in Saint Domingue but consequently provided the example for this class. His rebellion challenged the rights of free coloreds in Saint Domingue. The capture and return of Og by the Spanish authorities in Santo Domingo added to the political tensions that existed between the two colonies. But more importantly, the rebellion illustrates the conservative view of the Spanish towards free coloreds and their reaction they had towards Og Rebellion and what resulted as the Haitian Revolution. Ogs revolt is specifically linked to those inhabitants in Santo Domingo because it was the territory in which he sought refugee, assistance, and protection. The Revolution, itself, and the role of prominent leaders such as Toussaint, sets the backdrop to the reaction of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo and illustrates that the Spanish colony was not prepared for the events that were about to take place.


CHAPTER 3 A DEFENSIVE NEIGHBOR: SANTO DOMINGO AND THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION Yesterday I was born Spanish, In the afternoon I was French, At night I was African, Today they say I am English I dont known what will happen to me.1 Although not much is known about the attitudes of the population in Santo Domingo towards the Haitian Revolution it is quite possible that accounts such as the planter Byran Edwards and others were circulated on the eastern side and influenced the attitudes of the Spanish speaking individuals.2 As one contemporary account asserts regarding the Spanish opinions towards the early years of the Revolution: To fill up the measure of their calamities, their Spanish neighborurs, in the same island, with a spirit of bigotry and hatred which is, I believe, without an example in the world, refused to lend any assistance towards suppressing a revolt, in the issue of which common reason should have informed them, that their own preservation was implicated equally with that of the French. They were even accused, not only of supplying the rebels with arms and provisions but also of delivering up to them to be murdered many unhappy French planters who had fled for refuge to the Spanish territories, and receiving money from the rebels as the price of their blood.3 This account illustrates that some of the Spanish residents had dislikes and vendetta against residents in Saint Domingue. The statement furthermore accuses the unexpected and somewhat of a resentment to those in Santo Domingo had toward the Revolution. But more importantly, this account illustrates directly how involved the Spanish

1 2

Juan Vasquez, priest, from the city Santiago at the time of the Revolution.

See Bryan Edwards, An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo (1806).

Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, 148. 85

inhabitants were with the enslaved rebels from Saint Domingue by assisting them with money and supplies. It illustrates clearly two things, first that the Spanish were willing to do anything, even supplying the enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue with provisions, to regain the western land of Hispaniola and second it was their attempt to keep the rebel leaders at bay. As we have read in Chapter 2, Santo Domingo during the early years of the Revolution (1789-1791) illustrates that the colonists did somewhat fear the spread of the Revolution and the French from Saint Domingue, in terms of war and/or migration.4 This indicates to a certain degree that Spains policy towards the Revolution was somewhat neutral meaning that they saw events occurring in the west as their own disputes. Nonetheless, the Spanish government ordered a regiment from Puerto Rico to reinforce the garrison on the border as it was customary in the military practices of Santo Domingo. The Spanish troops had been reorganized under the Comandancia General de las Fronteras (General Commanders of the Frontier) with one headquarter in the Northern city of Dajabon, and another in the western town of San Rafael.5 This was standard Spanish policy where military operations were to be directed from these two points if necessary.6 However, despite this military presence along the frontier, the colony remained quiet, and the Spanish troops did not participate in any significant action, at least during the course of the first three years, in spite of the violence unleashed BL, Egerton MS 1794 De una carta del arzobispo Portillo a rey Carlos IV sobre la revolucin de los negros del Oeste y remedies par su incursin en la parte espaola. BL, Egerton MS 1794, De una carta del arzobispo Portillo de Pedro de Acua sobre la insurreccin francesa y las instrucciones dadas al clero. Margarita Gascn, The Military of Santo Domingo, 1720-1764, The Hispanic American Historical Review, 73 (August 1993), 451-452. 86
6 5 4

by the slave rebellion since August of 1791. However, by the year 1793, things were beginning to change in Santo Domingo. The year 1793 raised concerns dramatically for the Spanish. First and foremost, there was a gradual spread of French revolutionary ideals into the Iberian world and its colonies which led to a powerful resistance from the Spanish crown. This gradual spread led to the restriction of the entry of people and publications from French territories into the Spanish colonies, especially Santo Domingo, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.7 Furthermore, Lger Sonthonax and tienne Polverel were working closely with the free men of color in Saint Domingue who were newly made citizens, promoting them in the armies that they were fighting for the enslaved rebels and their Spanish allies. Moreover, to regain control of the city, Sonthonax offered freedom to the rebel slave bands; this had drastic effects in Santo Domingo. But to some degree prior to 1793, Spanish officials began to express a sentiment of contempt and alarm from the news that they were receiving from the French colony, such as the Og Rebellion. According to one contemporary account: to arm the sedition by another way, not only singly against the Municipal Government of the Guarico, but openly against the French Domination that, in their intention these evildoers pretending to remove to people and territories.8 It can be stated that Spanish officials where beginning questioned whether these ideals were to be exported to Santo Domingo, where From the Norfolk Herald from Cape Haytien Baltimore Patriot, 1822, April 24. According to this newspaper account, there were many French inhabitants from Saint Domingue who escaped to Santo Domingo during the outbreak of the Revolution. Many of these refugees fled to the Samana Bay region. AGI. Audiencia de Santo Domingo. leg. 1028. Comunicado del Capitan General de Santo Domingo, December 31, 1790.
8 7


it was noted that the enslaved Africans were the most orderly in the West Indies and have uniformly respected and obeyed their masters.9 Being the one colony directly threatened by the slave insurrection because it shares a frontier region; military defense played an important role in most of Spains decisions during this era.10 The governors of both Havana and Santo Domingo maintained their incapability of sparing any resources and announced their neutrality toward what they saw as a domestic conflict in the French territory.11 However, the governor of eastern Cuba continued to dispatch provisions and foodstuffs to the south and west of Saint Domingue.12 It was no surprise that the Spanish authorities in Santo Domingo were very much opposed to the French revolutionary ideas and the Jacobins in power. Governor Garca made a case against the white revolutionaries who in his view were thoroughly mixed up

AGI. Audiencia de Santo Domingo. leg. 1028. Comunicado del Capitan General de Santo Domingo, December 31, 1790; Moreau de Saint Mery reports in his travel account of Santo Domingo, that relatively small enslaved population was less rigid and harsh in terms of their labor and living conditions in comparison to Saint Domingue. Moreover, in a recent paper, Alejandro de la Fuente reasserted that in Frank Tannebaums Slave and Citizen (1946) enslaved Africans in Iberian colonies were endowed with a legal and moral personality, which in return created differences in the moral and legal settings of the slave system in contrast to the British colonies. See De la Fuentes, Slave Law and Claims-Making in Cuba: The Tannenbaum Debate Revisted, (Unpublished paper: University of Pittsburg, 2002), 3. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 956, Communication from Joaquin Garcia to Pedro de Acuna, October 25, 1792. Also see Gascn, The Military of Santo Domingo, Hispanic American Historical Review, 73 (August 1993), 433. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 954, Comunicado del Capitan General de Santo Domingo al Capitan General de Cuba de fecha 10 de octubre de 1791. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 954. Comunicado del Capitan General de Santo Domingo al Capitan General de Cuba de fecha 10 de octubre de 1791.
12 11 10


with the enslaved Africans and free colored rebels in this complicated revolution.13 Along the Spanish frontier, a number of French colonists fleeing for safety did not find the safe haven for which they were seeking and some were turned back to the war zone of Saint Domingue.14 Some of the local inhabitants and Spanish military garrison at the border had no difficulty returning these French refugees for a few gourdes. Moreover, the 1777 Treaty of Aranjuez asserts that any person from Saint Domingue who migrated illegally to Santo Domingo was to be arrested and deported to the French colony (see Chapter 2). However, there were still many reasons why the Spanish returned the French refugees. Nevertheless, by 1793, Santo Domingo was directly involved in the revolution next door. One of the main reasons why the Spaniards became involved in the Revolution was because they were secretly wishing to strengthen themselves through the alliance with all the enemies of the Republic. In order to accomplish this, the Spanish authorities invited and recruited enslaved Africans into their army.15 It was now that the Spanish changed their long standing policy of cooperation with the French since 1777 and once again began granting political asylum to enslaved Africans. In fact, it was noted that Pedro Acua, the Secretary for Colonial Affairs in Madrid, ordered Governor Garca to offer its black auxiliary leaders freedom and Spanish citizenship in exchange for

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1028. Expediente de la revolucin y guerra de la colonia francesa, 1790. Carta no. 22 de Garcia a Floridablanca, 21 de diciembre de 1790.
14 15


Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti.

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 956. Communicacion de Capitan General of Santo Domingo al conde de Campo Alanga, 12 de marzo 1793.


allegiance to Spain. In return, he insisted that large plots of land were to be given to these rebel blacks so they can keep the rest of the enslaved Africans as that enslaved.16 The Spaniards were hoping to use the rebel slaves to expel the French from the island. The ultimate goal for Spain, prior to the outbreak of the insurrection, was to recover the land lost over a hundred years prior to Frances settlement.17 It was known at the time that leaders such as Franois, Biassou and Toussaint accepted the aid offered by the Spanish commanders at the border and joined in their fight against the French. The Spaniards were also able to recruit various enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue by promising them and their families freedom, money, and land. It had always been suspected by the French and the British that since the beginning of the Revolution the Spanish government assisted the slave insurgents.18 According to historian Carlos Esteban Deive, Governor Garca was implicated in supporting the black insurgents from 1791 onward.19 Deive asserts that one of the reasons behind this support was one of class and racial solidarity with the French against

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 956. Communicacion para Pedro Acua a Joaquin Garca. After the National Conventions liberal decree in April of 1792 declared the political and social equality of the mulattos with the white planters, the latter subsequently welcomed support from the former in what became a common fight to suppress the rising slave revolt. Because of this decree, the black leaders became cynical by the Conventions refusal to abolish slavery. Seeing an opportunity to reclaim the whole island under the Spanish flag, the Spanish royalists promised freedom for the slaves and support from the English, with the Spanish crown conferring recognition on the officer ranks of the black Jacobin leaders. PRO WO 1/58, Particulars concerning the Rebellion in St. Domingo drawn up by Mon. Codish, President of the General Assembly, the 27th of September 1791. Deive, Los Guerrilleros Negros: Esclavos Fugitivos y Cimarrones en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Fudacion Cultural Dominica, 1989), 197-201. 90
19 18 17


the rebellion of the San Dominguan slaves.20 I would also assert that another cause for Spanish support of the auxiliary black soldiers is that unfriendly plans began to emerge in Spain by August of 1792 and in return these objectives began filtering into Santo Domingo which changed the state of affairs throughout the Spanish colony. One of these plans included the French revolutionary propaganda that was now beginning to make its way into Spain and the authorities were not promising land for it. In return, Governor Garca in Santo Domingo had to take all precautionary measures to limit the risk of revolutionary corruption.21 In return, the black rebel leaders from Saint Domingue sought to nurture good relations with their Spanish neighbors. As Geggus asserts the reason why the auxiliary rebels adopted this royalist attitude was because they were posing as defenders of the Church and the King.22 The Roman Catholic Church played a very important role in shaping colonial society in Santo Domingo, specifically within the enslaved African community.23 But the situation was not much different than in Saint Domingue where the enslaved Africans also started their revolt in the name of the King but changed to the Revolution when it offered liberty. In 1784 the Codigo Carolino Negro was published and it made a pivotal reference by establishing and maintaining a Hispanic identity based

A. Yacou, Administration Coloniale Espagnole a Cuba et les debuts des revolutions francaise et haitienne, Bullentin de la Societe dHistoire de la Guadeloupe 39 (1979): 47; See also M.R. Sevilla Soler, Santo Domingo: Tierra Frontera: 1750-1800 (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hipanico-Americano, 1980), 384-388.
21 22 23


Sevilla Soler, Santo Domingo: Tierra Frontera: 1750-1800, 384-388. Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies, 173.

By the late 1600s, the Spanish crown had the enslaved African population instilled in the Catholic faith. 91

on Spanish culture and the Catholic Church. Therefore, it was no surprise that the enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo, as well as in Saint Domingue, were committed to the Catholic faith and monarchy. Hence, it is not surprising that those black rebels from Saint Domingue who were now fighting for the Spanish Crown portrayed themselves as royalists saving the life and possessions of officials and insisting on the reinstatement of the monarchy. Moreover, it is quite possible that the Spanish population and soldiers that resided along the frontier region in Hispaniola may have exchanged ammunition for plantation goods and traders inroads may have had more to do with the supply.24 Prior to the Revolution, Santo Domingo was benefiting from the sale of its cattle to Saint Domingue in exchange for manufactured goods brought from Europe. According to one contemporary account: Their communication with the French becomes more frequent, and on the frontiers it is almost entirely done away. Fashion begins, through the means of the French, to have some little influence on the Spanish women; and to give them a relish for variegated charms of that capricious divinity. Accordingly, we see many of them on the frontiers wearing jaunty short-gowns after the French fashion, and otherwise imitating the dress of their more amiable neighbors.25 Therefore, it was evident that trade was taking place at least along the frontier region of the colony.

Since the establishment of the French and Spanish colonies, trading and smuggling was very common among the frontier region. For more see Jose Saezs work on the history of the Catholic Church in Santo Domingo. At the PRO several documents alluded to the fact that the Spaniards were assisting the black rebels in Saint Domingue. PRO WO 1/58; Also PRO WO 1/59, Extract of a Letter from Mons. Bouyer Neg. Of the St. Marc, to Mons. The Count de Ville blanche, dated, St. Marc 10th (July) 1794.


See Moreau de Saint Mery, 45. 92

It remains uncertain as to how much involvement there was conducted by the Spanish and whether this was deceitful or just opportunistic. Either way, it can be argued that the Spanish definitely had their own agenda in regards to Saint Domingue and how it could have benefited Santo Domingo in the long run. Charges of disloyalty against Santo Domingo are thus not easily supported since Governor Garca had prohibited such trading after the Revolution. In fact, as early as May of 1790, Spain had closed its colonies to all enslaved and freed blacks from French settlements and to all nonwhites that were considered dangerous.26 Therefore, it may have been foreign vessels off the coast of Saint Domingue that were supplying the enslaved illegally.27 It was no secret that the Spaniards resented the French and had become hateful to their colony.28 This resentment is reflected in many ways throughout the period. For example, the Spaniards had refused to let refugees from the French colony settle in Santo Domingo, along with aid, and to discontinue the trade with the enslaved rebels. The discontinuing of the trade with the enslaved rebels was due to resentment and fear of revolution spilling over to Santo Domingo. Yet, several correspondences to and from Governor Garca at the time revealed that there was a certain degree of sympathy for the

26 27

Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies, 182.

Antonio del Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo, Vol.3, (Santo Domingo: Amigos del Pais, 1890), vii.

Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo, Vol.3, 160.


rebels.29 In fact, Garca compared the warlike courage of these enslaved insurgents from Saint Domingue with that of the dispirited French colonist. By describing the enslavement in Saint Domingue as horrifying consequently, he apparently understood to some degree the rebels pursuit of freedom. Garcas correspondence with the colonial officials in Madrid expressed hopes for peace, disappointment when negotiations failed, contempt for the fierce brigands; and orders that no one from Saint Domingue be allowed entrance into the eastern territory. He noted that Spanish officers along the frontier formally correspond with, and occasionally, met the leaders but that their encouragement regarding the Revolution remained unproven.30 In the end, a large part of Governor Garcas policy regarding the Revolution was born out of the fear of a massive attack, rather than calculating intervention. His assistance towards the enslaved black rebels may have been a way merely to satisfy or ease this fear. After all, should war break out in Santo Domingo, Garca argued that We do not know in the end which side will be our enemy.31 This was true especially after May of 1792, when war between Spain and France became more of a possibility. This belief was also prevalent among the Britishs minds when they expressed their disgust towards the Spanish in 1794 by asserting that, The conduct of Don Garca, President of St. Domingo is the cause of ruin. He seems determined to annihilate the island rather than let it become a source of aggrandizement to the Marine and Commerce AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 956. Comunicado de Joaquin Garcia a Pedro de Acuna de 12 de agosto de 1793. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 957. Comunicado del Capitan General de Santo Domingo a Eugenio de Llaguno de 13 de abril de 1794.
31 30 29

Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo, Vol.3, x.


of England.32 Hence, the Frenchs request to pursue insurgents into the Spanish territory was declined because of fear. Therefore, Garcas suggestion to the Spanish Crown was to grant asylum. The Spanish government disapproved; however, they left the door open for Governor Garca to respond the way he saw fit. This policy gave Garca and his officials the authority to move forward.33 The Spanish carried on their discharge of rebels by crossing the border, and began bargaining with the enslaved Africans with applicable treaties. This leads to the question regarding Spains agenda towards the slave insurrection prior to 1793? This particular policy consisted of non-intervention and neutrality tailored to the aid of the white French refugees that settled in the colonies. The Spanish government in Santo Domingo understood this policy and took pains not to isolate the black rebels but instead to bargain with them. In 1793, when the war was pending, Garca and the Spanish Crown resolved to approach these black rebels with the attitude of armed neutrality. While Spain made preparations to activate its military and began to negotiate with the English. Three weeks later, the meeting improved the tensions between France and Bourbon Spain over French propaganda and subversion by declaring war on Spain on March 7: The treachery and violence they [Spanish] were to display.made them feared as conquerors.34 With the outbreak of warfare in Europe and Saint Domingue, both Britain and Spain took the opportunity to seize control of Hispaniola. For the Spanish, the tactic was PRO WO, 1/59 Extract of a Letter from Mons. Bouyer Neg. Of the St. Marc, to Mons. The Count de Ville blanche, dated, St. Marc 10th (July) 1794.
33 34 32

Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo, Vol.3, xiii. Geggus, Slavery War and Revolution, 56. 95

efficient from the start. By utilizing and enhancing the economic crisis in Saint Domingue, the Spanish plan was to clear out the plantations by encouraging the French enslaved communities to flee the brutalities of enslavement. Hence, the Spanish plan was simplified even more when Spain decided to gather the runaway Africans and enlist them in the Spanish armies. As a reward, the enslaved Africans were granted their freedom, military promotions, and enjoyment of various indulgences such as stipends. As a result, the Spanish soon possessed the Northern frontier region of Hispaniola, including the cities such as Fort Dauphin, Monte Cristi, Mirebalais, Dajabn, and Ouanaminthe. In the midst of the chaotic situation between Spain and Britain in Saint Domingue, changes were occurring in Europe. By 1793, Spain and Britain entered the French Revolution.35 In 1793, the Spanish authorities once again began to accept the rebel enslaved Africans into their army.36 Led by Franois, Biassou, and Toussaint, they managed to conquer territories in the north in a rapid military campaign.37 These leaders were fierce with strong-willed personalities. As described by one contemporary account, Franois was a political leader who was ambitious; yet as a general, he was outwardly arrogant and showcased his ego by decorating his uniform with an assortment of medals and other military ornaments. He was a man of exceptional intelligence; he was highly respected and especially well liked The Britishs goal, on the other hand, was not to utilize the enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue but instead become the new colonizers of the French colony and continue slavery and the plantation economy.
36 37 35

Dubois, Avengers of the New World, 107-108.

By this time Toussaint and his army had conquered the entire western cordon including Plaisance and Port-au-Prince, Gros Mornes, Terre Neuve, Limb, Borgne, and Gonaives.


by the mulattoes and free blacks under his command, as well as by the better subjects among the enslaved Africans.38 Biassou, on the other hand, was a far more fiery character. He was, according to Thomas Madiou, an avid voodoo practitioner skilled and kept himself surrounded by houngans, from whom he frequently sought advice.39 Toussaint, (who we read about in Chapter 2) was a brilliant political leader who over the course of his career, gathered around him individuals from all walks of life -white planters and officers to creole and African born persons. It was said that he had an effect on some of the most powerful personalities of the Revolution. One contemporary account asserts that even Dessalines didnt dare to look at him straight in the face.40 He was a leader of acute intelligence who was totally skilled at confusing his opponents.41 Though Toussaints actions and motives during the early part of the Revolution would remain a mystery, one could see how his early life enhanced his role as the leader of the Revolution and in the Spanish army. Since his participation in the negotiations between the insurgents and administrators in late 1791, he had become an increasingly important figure in the insurgent army. During these negotiations and again in 1792, he participated in and supported plans meant to end the insurrection by bringing the majority of the insurgents, minus some of the leaders who would receive freedom, back to the
38 39 40

Fick, The Making of Haiti, 112-113. Fick, The Making of Haiti, 113.

Pamphile de Lacrois, La Revolution de Haiti (1819; reprint, Paris, 1995), 244, 354. Also see Madison Smart Bell, Toussaint Louverture: A Biography (Pathoneon Books, 2007), 60.

Lacrois, La Revolution de Haiti, 244, 354.


plantations. He did not sign the July 1792 letter in which Biassou and Franois proposed an end to slavery in the colony. In June of 1793, a few weeks after Franois and Biassou joined the Spanish, Toussaint followed them to serve as an auxiliary. He therefore agreed to the terms initially presented by the Spanish: liberty, along with land and other rewards.42 Prior to the rebel leaders fighting for the Spanish side, many Spanish creoles believed that if the French could be expelled from the island Spain could regain Saint Domingue. In fact, Garca was thus authorized to request succors in men and munitions from all administrative and military authorities, viceroys, general captains or governors in all Spanish America.43 The black rebels, in particular Toussaint, had good reasons to be suspicious of the solidity of the French Republic and its policy towards emancipation. Sonthonaxs hold on the Northern Province was questionable, and, like many others in the mid- eighteenth century, Toussaint probably thought that the French Republic was heading towards defeat in Europe as well. There was no reason to join the losing side. Sonthonaxs abolition, furthermore, was a local decision, and Toussaint understood that it would not be secure until it had been ratified by the government in Paris. Meanwhile, Toussaint enjoyed a great deal of autonomy, commandingwith little Spanish supervisionterritory stretching along the border of Santo Domingo.

See Gegguss essay The Volte-Face of Toussaint Louverture in Haitian Revolutionary Studies (2002), 119-136.


Laurent, Avengers of the New World, 116, 152-153.


In early 1794 increasing numbers of white migrs, many returning from exile in the United States, were assembling in Santo Domingo. They hoped to return to Saint Domingue, in which slavery, or at least plantation agriculture, was safe. Tensions between the black rebels and these white migrs contributed to growing problems between the auxiliaries and the Spanish. Meanwhile, their hold on certain parts of Saint Domingue was loosening. When the Spanish attempted to reinstitute the use of the whip on the plantations, enslaved Africans in some parts of the northern peninsula rose up in revolt.44 Free-colored auxiliaries of Spain revolted in the same region, declaring that it was vital to follow the maxims of the Republic in order to keep the freedom for which they had fought. There were similar defections in Gonaives and the mountains of the Artibonite region. The British, too, found some of their erstwhile allies turning against them. In March and early April several free-colored commanders in the north peninsula joined the French side, leaving the British in control only of the region around the Mole Saint Nicolas. The Republics fortunes seemed to be improving. At the same time, Toussaint began to chart a course increasingly independent both from his Spanish commanders and from his superior in the insurgent army, Biassou, with whom he was in open conflict with by late March 1794. In early April, a representative of the French migrs serving with Spain complained that in the region under Toussaints control rebel blacks were assassinating, pillaging, and burning their properties in the name of the Republic.45 Instead of fighting them, Toussaint was arming all the slaves See Child, The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006). JCB, Louis Dubroca, La Vie de Toussaint-Louverture (Charleston, S.C. Printed by T.S. Bowen 1802). Dubroca was hired by the Bonaparte regime to conduct a propaganda war again Toussaint. However, his biography, even though it is full of 99
45 44

and removing them from their plantations, promising them general liberty and telling them that they would be free it they dared to kill the whites.46 These accusations had little influence on the treatment of Toussaint by the Spanish who recognized him as one of their most valuable allies. One commander had written him earlier that if God descended to earth, he would find no heart more pure than that of Toussaint.47 The reaction of the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue to the Revolution was mixed. As asserted by Geggus, the question of the enslaved attitudes towards freedom is perhaps the trickiest problem that confronts historians of today.48 One should surely ask: what sort of freedom? Moreover, one should take into account the varying geographic locations, social positions and political possibilities. Even in Santo Domingo, where the Revolution had its most direct impact, its influence among the enslaved population remains somewhat unclear. Furthermore, it is not easy to say if the Revolution helped to change ideas about racial differences or merely reinforced existing preconceptions in Santo Domingo or for that matter what consisted as slavery in comparison to other colonies in the West Indies. However one could assert that because of the diversified peasant economy which characterized Santo Domingo throughout the eighteenth century, what became a result of slavery favored the

criticisms regarding Toussaint, it contains some vital information regarding the Spanish views regarding the events surrounding the Revolution. He also wrote a similar account about Dessalines. JCB, Louis Dubroca, La Vie de Toussaint-Louverture (Charleston, S.C. Printed by T.S. Bowen 1802). JCB, Louis Dubroca, La Vie de Toussaint-Louverture (Charleston, S.C. Printed by T.S. Bowen 1802).
48 47 46

See Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies (2002), 55-68.


constant assimilation of colored people into the white sector and the rapid growth of a fundamentally hybrid, mulatto society.49 This concept regarding slavery would strengthen as asserted by Silvio Torres-Saillant regarding the concept of blackness in Santo Domingo and how it became restricted to slavery and subversion. Blackness in Santo Domingo fostered a conceptual space that permitted free blacks and mulattos to move up, outside the racialized limitation of their color, and re-conceptualize their identity or align themselves politically according to other criteria such as a free black or person of color, cattle rancher, maroon, and even a revolutionary leader.50 However, if the colony of Santo Domingo had such a fluid society in terms of its racial differences and what constitutes slavery, why then did slave conspiracies and attempted revolts involving the enslaved African population occur there? There is no question that the frequency of slave revolts and conspiracies in the Americas, including Santo Domingo, certainly reached a peak in the 1790s.51 But there were many other influences at work in the conspiracies and rebellions of the period, both internal to the societies concerning and deriving from revolutionary France or from the growing antislavery movement that was circulating throughout the region. For example, there were countless rumors of emancipation circulating throughout the island of Cuba, which sparked resistance from the slave population.52 Snchez Valverde comments on the continuous mixing of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo. He reports on prostitution and concubine and how masters often had sexual relations with the enslaved females in the Spanish colony. Torres-Saillant, Creoleness or Blackness: A Dominican Dilemma. Plantation Society in the Americas. Vol. V, No. 1 (Spring 1998), 32. Geggus has a table listing the several key revolts and conspiracies that occurred during this time period. See Geggus and Gaspar (ed) A Turbulent Times (1997).
51 50 49


Blacks across the Americas knew of the Revolution; while some of its influences were positive, others were negative.53 Blacks in Cuba, for example, noted that the situation in Saint Domingue had brought them a sense of pride.54 In Jamaica, by the mid eighteenth century, the black press also discussed the news of agricultural backwardness, political repression, and social conflict in Saint Domingue. As for Santo Domingo, very little has been written regarding the attitudes or reactions from the enslaved population towards the Revolution; however, there are three significant events that clearly illustrate the Revolutions affect among the population in the Spanish colony. They are the 1793 Hinche Slave Conspiracy, the 1795 Treaty of Basel, and the 1796 Boca de Nigua Revolt. Up until the year of 1793, events in Saint Domingue caused little alarm in Santo Domingo. As we have learned earlier, though the Spaniards patrolled the border region and supported the black auxiliary leaders of Saint Domingue; the population for the most part remained neutral in regards to their position on the war and France. However, in March of 1793, when France declared war on Spain because of the countrys refusal to agree to the disarmed neutrality, the colonists in Santo Domingo found themselves plunged headlong into the turmoil raging in the west. Governor Garca not only strengthened the Spanish insurgents along the frontier but he conceived of the idea of attacking the French stronghold at Cap Franois. See Childs, The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery (2006). See Geggus, The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Blacks in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Nancy Pricilla Nario ed. Blacks, Coloureds and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Latin America, 50. Geggus, The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Blacks in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Nancy Pricilla Nario ed. Blacks, Coloureds and National Identity in Nineteenth Century Latin America, 50. 102
54 53 52

However, the desertion of the French to Toussaint and a large body of troops that had joined the Spanish forces from the French section of the island brought the plan to an end. This forced Garca to fight the remainder of the war from defensive positions behind the colonys border. In March of 1793, in the frontier town of Hinche (spelled as Hincha in Spanish), a slave conspiracy was discovered by Spanish officials. Hinche, originally called Gohave or New Gohave was considered one of the most ancient cities in the Spanish colony. It was settled by the Spanish in 1504 and by 1720 around 2,000 individuals resettled in that city. However, by the time of the revolution, like the rest of the colony, Hinche was a town that was reduced to a state of weakness.55 The town consisted of a church and a local police station. About five hundred men were capable of bearing arms and there were several companies of militia that existed. One consisted of a cavalry and the other was a lieutenant general of police. Hinche was about twelve leagues from the frontier town of St. Raphael where there was a direct road route.56 In regards to its distance from neighboring Saint Domingue, as seen in Figure 4, it was estimated that from Hinche to Cap Franois was about twenty five leagues and twenty leagues to Port-au-Prince, by the way of Mirebalais.57

55 56 57

Moreau de Saint-Mry, 266. One league is equivalent to about 3 miles by land.

The town of Hinche is identified on the map to illustrate its proximity to other border town in Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. 103

Figure 4: Carte de St. Domingue on Sont, Saint Domingue/Haitian Revolution Collection at the John Carter Brown Library In November of 1790, Hinche became famous for the events that involved Og and his followers. In fact, it was in the town of Hinche that Og was arrested and transported back to Saint Domingue to be executed.58 Therefore, it is no surprise that the residents who resided in this frontier town were aware of the current events that were taking place in Saint Domingue. As asserted by David Barry Gaspar, slave plots or conspiracies can be explained when other contributing factors are added to the situation. In the case of the 1736 Antigua slave conspiracy the most easily identifiable reasoning was the unfavorable economic conditions and the charismatic enslaved leadership.59

Ardouin, Gographie de LIle dHati, Prcde du Prcis et de la Date Des vnemens Les Plus Remarquales de Son Histoire. (Port-au-Prince, 1832), 128. David Barry Gaspar, The Antigua Slave Conspiracy of 1736: A Case Study of the Origins of Collective Resistance, in The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 35, No.2 (1978), 316. 104


Matt D. Childs has argued that in the case of the 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba, free people of color along with enslaved Africans responded to the sugar boom on the island. Moreover, inspired by the Revolution, the enslaved and free people of color in Cuba sought to destroy slavery and perhaps even end Spanish rule.60 In the case of the 1793 Hinche conspiracy, it is clear that the Revolution occurring in Saint Domingue was the major cause. As one contemporary account affirmed, seventeen out of the nineteen enslaved Africans who were involved resided in Santo Domingo.61 The plan was to seize the frontier town along with that of St. Raphel during the Holy Week holiday by killing all of the whites and capturing the local armory.62 One of the leaders was an enslaved African by the name of Tomas. It was said that Tomas referred to the enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo as stupid or foolish

A recent study that has been written on the Aponte Rebellion is Childs, The 1812 Aponte Rebellion. Three of the enslaved Africans were from Saint Domingue because it was said that they had French names. Their names are not mentioned in the documents. Moreover, the enslaved Africans that were involved were said to have been creole. The only name mentioned is an enslaved African from Santo Domingo by the name of Jose Nago who refused to be apart of the 1793 slave plot. AGN, Asuntos Politicos de Santo Domingo, vol. 4. Also see Geggus Slave Resistance in the Spanish Caribbean, A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997), 140. Deive, La Esclavitude en Santo Domingo vol. 2, 469-471. AGN, Archivo de la Nacin de la Repblica Dominicana cortesa del Archivo Nacional de Cuba, leg. 1-4 signnatura 43., Asuntos seguidos sobre la Insurreccin pretendiada por los negros esclavos en Hincha (Santo Domingo), 26 de marzo de 1793. The reason as to why the planned revolt was chosen for the Holy Week was because the enslaved Africans knew that the plantation owners were going to be preoccupied with the events that surround the week long ceremony. The rest of the enslaved Africans who did not want to participate in this conspiracy considered themselves as good Christians and Spaniards and they did not want to disobey their plantation owners.
62 61



because they were doing nothing, while over the lnea the blacks in Saint Domingue were killing the French white planters.63 Like many, the Hinche conspiracy was quickly suppressed and in the end, nineteen of the enslaved Africans were arrested. Eventually, these accused enslaved or free blacks were found innocent. The Hinche conspiracy of 1793 clearly illustrated the impact, which the Revolution had within the enslaved African community in Santo Domingo. However, how much of a role did the Revolution actually play regarding the attitudes of those enslaved Africans particularly in the town of Hinche? Clearly, the concept of freedom was something that the enslaved Africans strove for in Santo Domingo. Hence, at the beginning, the Revolution may not have posed a threat to the whites in Santo Domingo because they considered their small enslaved population non-threatening. However, why did the Spanish authorities fail to pursue the affair vigorously and institute more severe punishments to those enslaved Africans who were arrested and later found innocent? Did the authorities in Santo Domingo define this as a conspiracy? One possible answer is that Garca did not think that the Revolution or for that matter the slave conspiracy in Hinche posed a threat to the rest of the Spanish colony. There is no doubt that there were fears of war, the fears of slave uprisings, and fears of the colonys destruction. However, the fact that the poverty of the Spanish colony which Don Manuel Godoy described as not only useless to Spain but

AGN, Archivo de la Nacin de la Repblica Dominicana cortesa del Archivo Nacional de Cuba, leg. 1-4 signnatura 43., Asuntos seguidos sobre la Insurreccin pretendiada por los negros esclavos en Hincha (Santo Domingo), 26 de marzo de 1793. Also see Geggus, Slave Resistance in the Spanish Caribbean, A Turbulent Time, 140. 106


burdensome in its then existing condition64 could have been a contributing factor to some Spanish authorities lack of fear of a slave uprising occurring in Santo Domingo. 65 Furthermore, Garca thought that with the outbreak of a rebellion in Saint Domingue there was a chance that he could gain control of Saint Domingue and their unit all of Hispaniola under Santo Domingo. Another possibility could be how the news of the Revolution was circulated throughout the colony. Since the outbreak of the Revolution, officials in Spain organized so that news of the French and Saint Domingue Revolutions did not reach into Spanish territories because they feared that a slave insurrection could occur in their colonies as well.66 As explained earlier, since the establishment of the French and Spanish in Hispaniola, the frontier region was considered a central place for an agricultural area where the export cash crops had not yet completely established their dominance. A border town was technically a border market. The markets established in towns such as Hinche, Fort Dauphin, St. Raphel, and Dajabn boasted more than their share of wandering peddlers stocking up on small manufactured goods to sell on each side, which included livestock traders and enslaved Africans. The large Spanish garrison that existed in Santo Domingo seemed to have been less than perfectly supplied, therefore trade with

Wendell G. Shaeffer, The Delayed Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France, 1795-1801, Hispanic American Historical Review 29 (February 1949): 47. The gourde is the current Haitian monetary unit. In the Dominican Republic, there was no currency at the time. It was not established until 1930s under the Trujillo dictatorship. See Derbys "Haitians, Magic and Money: Raza and Society in the HaitianDominican Borderlands, 1900-1937," 488-526. The printing press and material in Saint Domingue was established in 1763. See Garrigus, Before Haiti.
66 65



French Saint Domingue was considered quite lucrative. Moreover, the communication links between Saint Domingue and Santo Domingo existed. It is also quite possible that those enslaved Africans who resided along the border region, in towns such as Hinche, might have felt differently towards enslavement. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that the border region was (and still is) more than just a division. The frontier region was and still is a transnational space of interaction. The people who came to populate this region created linkages based on trade, communication, kinship, alliance, and custom and clearly events such as the Revolution in Saint Domingue were to have a monumental effect on the residents in this particular region.67 Meanwhile, the Spanish alliance along with the enslaved rebels fighting in the Spanish army were successful for less than one year. When it appeared that France was losing their richest colony in the Americas, they decided to abolish slavery. This decision had immediate effects throughout Hispaniola.68 First, there was a division among the black rebels, therefore, now some were fighting for the French and the other half continued to fight for the Spanish. Toussaint who now had joined the French army knew that freedom for the enslaved Africans would be more strongly guaranteed by the French

See Sanchez Valverde, Idea de Valor (1785) and Moreau de Saint-Mry A Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo (1789) for their accounts on the trading activities that occurred across frontier region of Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado, 59, Carta del Gobernado Joaqun Garca al Comandante Laveaux sobre la alarma ante la abolicion de la esclavitud. 21, noviembre 1795; AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1032. Carta del Gobernado Joaqun Garca a Manuel Godoy sobre la proclama francesa de abolicin de la esclavitud. 21 noviembre 1795.



Republic than by the Spanish and the British. His sudden switch altered the leadership that became a true revolution for black independence.69 Toussaints strategy was not only motivated by a genuine concern for the freedom of the enslaved Africans but also because he was aware of the political situation that was taking place in Saint Domingue and in Europe.70 He anticipated Spains defeat in Europe and, therefore, deserted the Spanish crown before it discarded him.71 There was no doubt that Toussaint was familiar with the republican victories against the European oppressors and that France was in a much better position by the later months of 1793 than Spain. In fact, as late at 1794, there were rumors circulating that the anti-France coalition had collapsed. Therefore, Toussaints change of tactic appeared more understandable. Between the overpowering weight of the English and Spanish invaders and the small republican forces desperately hanging on in Saint Domingue, Toussaints army which composed of about 4,000 men forced the invading militias into retreating and recovered Saint Domingue from what would have been an ultimate catastrophe. The weakness of France might have been owing to the desertion of the free coloreds who discovered that they would not gain much from the British and the Spanish. Perhaps they were all of equal force and needed just enough to tip the internal balance. Toussaint provided that much needed help. Jane Landers, Jorge Bissou, Black Chieftain, Clash Between Cultures: Spanish East Florida, 1784-1821 (St. Augistine, Florida: St. Augistine Historical Society, 1988), 87-100.
70 71 69

Geggus, Haitian Revolutionary Studies, 119

Several historians who have questioned the weight of the invading armies failed to recall the Spanish had gotten an additional 6,000 men from the Spanish Caribbean and the British had had some from Jamaica and the Leeward islands.


The fact that French immigrants were putting increasing pressure on the Spanish commanders to force non-auxiliary blacks to return to their plantations does not in any way weaken Toussaints understanding of Spains fate in Europe. New developments in Spanish policy had little to do with the reversal even if all the blacks in revolt acknowledged the republics control, they intended to be free. Ahead of the Court of Madrid which eventually abandoned the anti-French coalition, Toussaint went with the tide of events. Toussaints decision brought a major loss to Spains territorial conquests along the northern frontier region. In a matter of months, all of newly won Spanish territories in the French colony were lost to Toussaint. In 1794, Toussaints black troops forced the Spanish to abandon their important frontier posts which were St. Raphel, San Miguel, and Hinche and to reorganize in the towns of Las Caobas, Bancia, Dajabn, Bayaja, and Monte Cristi.72 For the inhabitants in Santo Domingo, it was a shocking situation, this was especially so when Toussaints troops expelled the Spanish forces from the grazing lands, and forced them to take refuge in the towns of San Juan de la Maguana and Azua. Hence, when the Spanish commanders had an intense concentration of troops, Garcas defensive strategic positions behind the colonys border had failed.73 At this crucial moment, news arrived from Spain that the war with France had ended in Europe and that a peace treaty had been signed on July 22, 1795, in Basel, Switzerland. The treaty stipulated that Spanish troops should hold themselves in readiness to evacuate the city of Santo Domingo, the ports, and the establishments.
72 73

Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 99. Schaeffer, The Delayed Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo, 49.


Moreover, the treaty specified that the Spanish colonists in Santo Domingo would surrender to the French troops when they arrived.74 It may be argued that the struggle for Saint Domingue was a reflection of the larger war taking place in Europe. From the beginning, Spain was dragged into the war for reasons of European policy. They entered the war to defend their colony from the spread of French revolutionary ideologies. Having a common frontier with Saint Domingue, Santo Domingo had to be isolated using the same measures as in the rest of the Spanish mainland. Hence, Spain eventually was forced to sign the peace treaty with France under which Santo Domingo was ceded in exchange for the evacuation of territories occupied by French troops on the Iberian Peninsula.75 More importantly, however, is the fact that Spains revival as a colonial and navy power depended on checking the ascendance of Great Britain; this could only be accomplished with the support of France. This cession to France was troublesome to the British troops who managed to infiltrate the Spanish territories but soon lost ground to Toussaint.76

Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 99; Also see William Javier Nelson, Dominican Creole Emigration, 1791-1861. Centro de Investigaciones del Caribe y America Latina, (Universidad Interamerica de Puerto Rico, Recinto de San German, 1988); Joquin M. Inchaustegui Cabral (ed.) Documentos Para Estudio: Marco de la Epoca yProblemas del Tratado de Basilea de 1795 en La Parte Espanola de Santo Domingo. B.A., 1957. 2 v. Academia Dominicana de La Historia. Publicaciones 5-6; Rodriguez Demorizi, (ed.) Cension de Santo Domingo a Francia. See Letters of Toussaint Louverature and of Edward Stevens, 1798-1800 The American Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 1. (Oct., 1910), 64-101; Also Schaeffers, The Delayed Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo.
76 75


See Geggus, Slavery, War, and Revolution.


To facilitate this transfer, the French government commissioned Philippe Roume to go to Santo Domingo and work with the Spanish authorities. Roume had to work quickly since the British were about to capture the military barrier along the frontier and threatened to take control of Santo Domingo. By June of 1796, the majority of the military personnel had left the island. Confusion prevailed in Santo Domingo: British corsairs posed threats to those leaving the colony, and to make matters worse, there was little certainty of finding a new home in other Spanish territories. Moreover, slave owners faced threats from French policy and the enslaved Africans themselves. In the meantime, back in Santo Domingo uncertainty began to unravel in the Spanish colony. This uncertainty was prevalent with the 1796 Boca de Nigua Revolt. The Boca de Nigua plantation was located in a fertile region in southern Santo Domingo. According to one contemporary account, this region was known for a town of water mills. It was said that the population amounted to about 2,500 individuals. Half of this regions population consisted of free people of color.77 There is no question that Santo Domingo had very few sugar plantations, in comparison to Saint Domingue, and those enslaved Africans who were working on them were exploited similarly as in the neighboring colony. However, by 1796, all sectors of the population in Santo Domingo, including the enslaved Africans were well aware of the latest political developments.78 News such as the abolition of slavery in Saint Domingue

77 78

Moreau de Saint-Mry, 107.

It is important to remember that the 1795 Treaty of Basel had been signed and several individuals in Santo Domingo had relocated to other regions in the Caribbean such as Cuba and Puerto Rico. But more importantly, the abolition of slavery in Saint Domingue had been declared in 1794 and news of this had reached into Santo Domingo. Several of the documents housed at the AGI can be concluded that the inhabitants in 112

and the cession of Santo Domingo to France circulated throughout the colony; within a few months the enslaved population responded to these events by rebellion. When the news of the Boca de Nigua rebellion reached the city of Santo Domingo, the Spanish authorities wasted no time. Well aware of the potential consequences of another slave uprising, they acted quickly and brutally to suppress it. Situated on the bank of the Nigua River just about fifteen miles outside of the capital city of Santo Domingo, about 200 enslaved Africans worked on the plantation; around 120 were considered mostly male adults. It was the biggest sugar plantation in Santo Domingo (and probably the most productive considering its size and location); in comparison to other sugar producing islands, such as Jamaica or Barbados, the plantation would have been characterized as average size.79 Most of the enslaved Africans were no doubt imported directly from Africa and several of them had been fugitives from Saint Domingue. This was a common characteristic with several plantations in Santo Domingo dating back to the mid-1700s.80 Moreover, the plantation manager, Juan Bautista Oyarazbal did business in the commercial city of Cap Franois. Therefore, at some point during his regular business trips he had purchased enslaved persons from Saint

Santo Domingo were well aware of the political events that were taking place in Saint Dominigue. According to a letter from Governor Garca on the plantation, it was said that this sugarcane hacienda of two hundred Negroes, named Boca-Nigua, is located five leagues away from this Capital, on the coast, and it is the best established wealthiest, and better administered of all of the Spanish part and even of the whole Island nowadays. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5 Carta del Gobernador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellion de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua. See Moreau de Saint Mery for more on the illegal trade of enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue to Santo Domingo.
80 79


Domingue. However the plantation was owned by Marquez de Yranda, Oyarazbals uncle.81 In 1796, it was reported by Oyarazbal that the enslaved Africans who worked the plantation were not treated like enslaved Africans, implying that his slaves were handled well.82 In a letter from Governor Garca regarding the insurrection he makes it a point to emphasizes how well the enslaved Africans were treated in Santo Domingo. He writes: These Negroes, who, based on the good conduct and the loyalty they had demonstrated to their masters, were not treated like Negro slaves. They were never subjected to any commiseration or mistreatment.83 Statements such as these were quite common among the Spanish colonizers in the Americas. Many of the Spanish authorities and planters truly believed that they treated their enslaved Africans in the best possible way in comparison to other European planters in the Caribbean colonies. In comparison to other plantations on the island, the Boca de Nigua estate was noticeable; so much so that Oyarazabal had set aside weapons in case of an attack on the plantation. The enslaved Africans were expected to participate in its protection.

It was common in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, where the available access to land and/or natural resources were limited it was common for the plantation owner to have his manager run the plantation while he lived elsewhere. In places like Jamaica, Saint Domingue, and Colombia absentee interests were represented by agents or managers who acquired a kind of power of attorney but more importantly enjoyed all of the advantages of the absentee owner. Klein, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the main argument that is often made by the Spanish regarding enslavement in Santo Domingo in comparison to French Saint Domingue. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5, Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua.
83 82



The leaders of the Boca de Nigua revolt chose Sunday for their attack so they would not have to fight after a full days work in the fields. They met secretly to lay out the plans for the insurrection.84 The revolt started at sundown where the enslaved Africans gathered to receive their weekly assignments. With an assortment of weapons that included lances, knives, machetes, and sticks fitted with nails, as well as hunting rifles, blunderbusses, and pistols the enslaved Africans attacked. One account writes: They then planned to follow up against any whites counting on getting their Haciendas, enslaving those who did not take up arms in their favor or killing them, rapidly increasing their numbers with the groups of Negroes, who fled from neighboring Haciendas upon hearing the sound of liberty, exterminating the whites, taking over the port and Battery of Jayna, following up to the San Gernimo Castle, and establishing a government like the one in Guarico and others in the French part.85 When the lock from the house broke, the enslaved Africans split up into small groups surrounding the plantation at a distance. Some historians questioned whether the revolt began as a personal revenge rather than the influences of the Saint Domingue Revolution. This argument came about in part because of certain events that took place leading up the revolt.86 Before the uprising, an enslaved African named Benito had committed suicide after being whipped by Capitan Franco the distiller on the plantation. Benito was

The reason why the enslaved Africans choose Sunday was because for plantations, Sundays was day appointed to the enslaved Africans as their rest day. Throughout the Latin American and Caribbean, because they were not prone to the harsh labor behind the plantations, most slave rebellions occurred on Sundays. In fact the Bois Caiman ceremony was reported to have taken place on a Sunday (see Chapter 2). AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5, Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua.
86 85


See works by Geggus and Deive. 115

punished because he was accused of either stealing rum or not performing a task.87 Franco was characterized as a rude and indecisive man who was driven to extreme forms of behavior. Regardless, Benito had hoped that by committing suicide he would return to his native land; this was the belief in many African cultures in the Americas.88 Furthermore, another enslaved African died in the plantation hospital shortly after Benitos suicide; the rest of the enslaved Africans blamed the estate doctor for his death. Both men who died were godsons of the slave driver, Francisco Sopo. According to Manuel Bravo, the investigating judge, Sopo was deeply fond of those enslaved persons who had passed away. Therefore, he was determined to take revenge on the distiller. Sopo discussed his plan with Antonio the carter, who resided in the same hut; they began to develop the plot. Besides killing Franco they decided that it was also best to kill the white refiner. This led them to a revolt to kill all the whites on the estate, including Oyarzabal. Moreover, they decided to include several other enslaved Africans who worked on the surrounding estates.89 Moreover, by the time of the Boca de Nigua insurrection, some of the enslaved Africans who worked on the estate had apparently been in contact with some of the

According to Garcas letter, the enslaved Africans on this particular plantation were never subjected to any mistreatment or commiseration until Capitan Franco started to antagonize them. See Thornton, I Serve the King of the Kongo: African Political Ideology in the Haitian Revolution. Journal of World History, 4 (1993), 181-214. AGI Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5 Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua; AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 13, De una carta del oidor Jos de la Urzar al Principe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca Nigua. 1 noviembre 1796.
89 88



former black auxiliaries who had fought in the Spanish army. For example, in the town of San Juan (near Boca de Nigua) letters indicate that both Sopo and Antonio had paid visits to the former auxiliary soldiers.90 On some of their visits they even took the former soldiers presents of rum and cane syrup in hopes that this would influence them to join the revolt. Both Antonio and Sopo were well aware that if these auxiliary soldiers were to join the Boca de Nigua revolt their skills would be of valuable use. However, these ex-soldiers refused to get involved in the plot, telling them that they were well treated under the current times. Even more so, the former auxiliary rebels also refused to take them to Saint Domingue, arguing it was too dangerous there. The only outsider that was said to have joined the revolt was Tomas Congo Aguirre; an enslaved African from the Congo region. The rest of the enslaved Africans who plotted the revolt consisted of the elderly Papa Pier, Piti Juan, Christoval Cesar, and Antonios wife, Ana Maria. Ana Maria was a domestic slave who worked in the plantation house and was said to have been favored by Oyarzabal, though according to Garca, she was willing to murder him herself.91 On the morning of October 1796, the enslaved rebels ransacked the plantation house, smashing the furniture and carrying off food and clothing to their huts. Ana Maria helped in the distribution by providing the keys to the locked doors, Antonio, the leader, AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1102, Manuel Bravo Report on Boca Nigua.; AGI Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 16, Bravo para Garcia y Moreno, 21 December 1796; AGI Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5 Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua; AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 13, De una carta del oidor Jos de la Urzar al Principe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca Nigua. 1 noviembre 1796. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5, Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua.
91 90


took the rest of the muskets and ammunition and loaded the two cannons with scrap metal and nails. Papa Pier, along with several enslaved Africans, went to the nearby hills to meet the recruit from nearby estates in Azua and San Juan. When they returned to Boca de Nigua they found that most of the enslaved Africans had left. The enslaved rebels had traveled to the nearby San Christoval plantation in order to encourage those enslaved Africans to rebel with them. They promised freedom to those who joined them. That Sunday evening, the enslaved rebels performed a ceremony where they drummed, danced, and feasted on the masters meat and wine. Ana Maria presided over the festival where both she and Antonio were given the title of Queen and King.92 The Boca de Nigua revolt was quickly suppressed with seven enslaved Africans leaders losing their lives in combat; they were hung by the Spaniards. The city and the countryside were, of course placed on alert and under observation according to one account: Judgment day was frightening and had we not taken some measures capable of containing so many Negros, freeman as well as slaves, and so many foreigners loyal to Liberty and Equality, and closing the Doors, establishing Patriots, putting all in their Barracks with Officers, and simply put on alert all of the Garrison, we could have experienced a commotion like that which took place in the Islands vicinity, and conceivable in a City that has one year and four months of being ceded to the French Republic.93 AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, leg. 1102, Manuel Bravo Report on Boca Nigua. According to Geggus, the use of enslaved Africans of political titles mirroring state authority was common in American societies. Geggus points out that Kings and other officials were elected by African slaves involved in conspiracies that occurred in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in regions such as Antigua, Louisiana, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Demerara. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5, Carta del Governador Garca al Prncipe de la Paz sobre la rebellin de los esclavos de Boca de Nigua.
93 92


Sentences were carried out in December. The main seven individuals involved in the insurrection were punished severely. The day of the executions was extremely tense throughout Santo Domingo. Along with those that had died in battle, the seven main leaders were hung and dismembered; they included Capitan Franco, Queen Ana Maria, and Antonio. Four enslaved Africans were found innocent and the rest of the enslaved received one hundred to twenty-five lashes each. The execution produced disturbances to the remaining inhabitants in Santo Domingo, but more specifically to the remaining Spanish officials. This instability was similar to those of the Revolution occurring in Saint Domingue. Because of this emotional feeling among the population in Santo Domingo Garca stationed one hundred soldiers around the surrounding areas including the frontier towns. He placed the rest of the garrison on alert and closed the citys gates. Garca feared that the enslaved Africans and free blacks who remained in Santo Domingo along with the growing number of French migrants would outnumber Spaniards on the city streets of Santo Domingo. Clearly the revolution had been exported to the Spanish side of the island. In the first year after the 1795 Treaty of Basel, Garca worked hard to protect the Spanish border from British attacks and slave insurrections. He surrendered the frontier city of Bayaja to the French but was now eager to focus Spanish troops in Santo Domingo where they could embark once the French troops had arrived. The Spanish were forced to surrender Las Caobas to Toussaint. This town now became a new war zone as the British attacked and occupied it. From there, the British prepared to invade the Spanish colony, focusing on the nearby towns of Neiba and San Juan, which they


eventually occupied in March of 1797. In April however, Toussaint counterattacked and forced out the British.94 Governor Garca continued with his plan to surrender the cities of Santiago and Puerto Plata to the French. He concentrated his troops in the city of Santo Domingo where the situation was crucial due to the lack of food, supplies, money to pay salaries and possible slave insurrections. There was little hope of receiving any kind of shipments since the British navy controlled the Caribbean waters. In September of 1797, Garca informed officials in Madrid that for five months the soldiers had been paid only half their salaries.95 Furthermore, the economic situation in Santo Domingo convinced more people to abandon the colony. At any rate, the formal surrender of the colony to the French seemed extremely distant. The French had no white troops to take possession and did not occupy the colony with Toussaints troops because Spanish residents did not wish to be ruled by men they considered inferior to them96 Because of some agitation, some officers feared that auxiliaries and other blacks would massacre them. In the two and a half years since the announcement of the cession to France, the Spanish colonial government had come to a complete stop in regards to its colonial rule. In addition, the garrison of Santo Domingo, now reduced to 1,320 men, had become violent and turbulent. Governor Garcas problem was totally dependent on events in Saint Domingue and in France. When the defeated British began to evacuate their positions in the French
94 95 96

Geggus, Slavery, War, and Revolution. See works by Geggus. Rodman, Quisqueya, 40.


territory in April of 1798, new hopes arose that the official delivery of the Spanish colony would take place soon. The French Commissioner Hedouville finally arrived in Santo Domingo at the end of March 1798 but, to the dismay of Governor Garca, he did not want to speak of the colonys surrender. His main concern was to restore the French authority in the island and to observe and restrain the ambitions of Toussaint.97 Toussaint treated the various representatives sent to him by the French government with courtesy, but allowed no interference from them. In 1799, Toussaint was appointed Governor General in Haiti. Because Santo Domingo always had, numerically and proportionally, fewer enslaved Africans Spanish elites nevertheless, feared that a possible slave uprising could occur. These white and light-skinned elites in Santo Domingo also feared that free blacks and mulattoes in the Spanish colony would join those from the west and massacre all the whites in the colony, as had been planned in the 1793 Hinche Conspiracy and the 1796 Boca de Nigua Rebellion, therefore they tried their best to maintain good relationships with the black rebels. The Hinche conspiracy, the Boca de Nigua Rebellion, and the Treaty of Basel were all connected to the Saint Domingue Revolution. This fear that various outbreaks would continue with support of those blacks who resided in Saint Domingue caused more fear and migration from Spanish Santo Domingo. Furthermore, there was still fear among the Spanish residents because of the uncertainty of finding a new home in other Spanish occupied territories. At this point, what prevailed in the minds of those who resided in Santo Domingo was uncertainty. For the enslaved men and women in Santo

Logan, The Diplomatic Relation of the United States, 64.


Domingo the Revolution carried on to their own struggle against enslavement and the fight for freedom. Their response in some cases was in fact parallel to those enslaved residents in Saint Domingue.


CHAPTER 4 UNITED AS ONE: BLACK RULE IN SANTO DOMINGO 1801-1809 The reception, [Toussaint] met with in every town and village through which he passed, and every port he visited was such as to have gratified the vanity of the proudest potentate. All orders, civil or military, vied with each other in their modes of respect, while the women and children lined the road sides, to bless the pacificator of their country. On every face was depicted content and health, and in every place appeared universal satisfaction.1 For more than a century, the colonists of Santo Domingo had struggled to survive, in the face of penetration and usurpation by Saint Domingue. From the first days of the slave revolt, their aim in fighting had been precisely that of expelling the French from the island altogether. To be governed by the French was intolerable to the majority of inhabitants who where intensely pro-Spanish. What the Revolution and its impact brought to Santo Domingo was a change in land cultivation and population loss. This chapter examines how events in Saint Domingue as a result of the Revolution effected the population, administration, commerce and local economy in Santo Domingo. This chapter further asserts that the foreign invasions first by Toussaint, then by the French, and then Dessalines began to challenge the identity and nationality of the Spanish inhabitants in Santo Domingo.2 But more importantly, the chapter attempts to illustrate how Santo Domingo is placed within the wider story of Atlantic imperialism.

Rainsford, A memoir of transactions, 256. Also see Apuentes historicos sobre Santo Domingo, Ocupacion de Santo Domingo por Toussaint Louverture in El Dominicano, Santiago, No. 17 (Mayo 1874), which had noted a similar account regarding Toussaints arrival in Santo Domingo. El Dominicano is one of the first newspapers established in the Dominican Republic during the nineteenth century. It was established in 1845, a year prior to Santo Domingos independence from Haiti. Juan Pablo Duarte, the founding father of Dominican independence, was involved with the development of the newspaper.

Franklin in The Present of Hayti also notes that there was interest from 123

In 1800, when Toussaint had full control of Saint Domingue, he felt that it was necessary to gain control of all of Hispaniola. His reasoning was fear of a possible European invasion and fear of the possibility of re-establishing slavery in Saint Domingue. Therefore in 1801, Toussaint and his army marched into the city of Santo Domingo and gained control of the eastern side of the island. The definition of a state as defined by him meant a unified people possessing a territory under one political authority.3 Since the 1795 signing of the Treaty of Basel, Governor Garca had endured long sequences of calamities, as he kept a colony functioning although it no longer belonged to Spain but which France refused to occupy until it had assembled sufficient forces.4 Garca had no money because of the British naval activity in the Caribbean. Moreover, he had to confront an archbishop whose sole thought was to emigrate as soon as possible, along with all the rest of the clergy, so as not to have to co-exist with anti-clerical Frenchmen or with enslaved Africans in revolt.5 He was badgered by thousands of Spanish families who could not emigrate because of the lack of ships to carry them. Spanish refugees crowded the port of Santo Domingo every day, bringing with them their

Christophes regime that the northern inhabitants in the Cibao region were interested in the uniting with his kingdom. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 59, Santo Domingo 13 Pluviose ao 9 del la Republica Francesa, una indivisible 1 Febrero de 1801. Schaeffer, The Delayed Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France, 17951801. 46-68.
5 4 3

BL Egerton MS 1794, (Spanish Correspondences).


movable property and their enslaved persons, overloading the local market more than ever by demanding food and articles which simply were not available.6 When Toussaint took control of Santo Domingo in 1801, he abolished slavery and moved to incorporate the Spanish portion of the island to the structure of his government. One of his main concerns was the attention people in the east placed on agriculture. As we have read earlier, the sparse population in Santo Domingo was accustomed for centuries to live without restricting land tenures. They made their livelihood out of cattle therefore agriculture was not an attractive activity.7 Nevertheless, news of the Revolution spread wide and fast; nothing remotely like it had happened before, and nobody could think about enslavement in quite the same way again. There were many reports from different parts of Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Guyana where the masses reacted. For example, whites, in many parts of the region began complaining of a new insolence on the part of their enslaved Africans, which they attributed to their awareness of the successful black revolution. In Jamaica, there is evidence that enslaved Africans were well informed of events in Saint Domingue and

UFL, General Rochambeau Papers, Notes junt les partie de Espangnole; Leclerc, Victor Emmanuel. General en Chef d. Orders that Captain Cavin, Adjoint a; Etat Major, May 13, 1802; Also see Moya Pons, The Haitian Revolution in Santo Domingo (1789-1809), 125-165. Charles Julian Bishko, The Peninsular Background of Latin American Cattle Ranching. The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 32, no. 4 (1952): 491-515; Michiel Baud, A Colonial Counter Economy: Tobacco Production on Espanola, 15001870. NWIG: New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West Indische Gids, vol. 65: 1/2 (1991): 1382-2373; Michiel Baud, The Origins of Capitalist Agriculture in the Dominican Republic. Latin American Research Review, vol. 22, no. 2 (1987), 135-153.


their response was so quick that on the densely populated north coast of the island, a rebellion was planned in 1791.8 In 1795, Cubas governor wrote that the name of Jean-Franois resounds in the ears of the lower classes like that of an invincible hero and redeemer of the slaves. A local industrialist reported that, since the revolution in Saint Domingue, The insolence [of Havanas blacks and mulattoes] no longer knows any bounds. 9 A similar statement was voiced three years later by the islands governor who commented on the excitement created by the news of the enslaved Africans growing power over whites in the neighboring colony.10 In fact, just weeks after Toussaint occupied Santo Domingo, free blacks and enslaved Africans in the hills above the city of Coro, Venezuela, rejoiced at the news and sang a refrain that roared on the leaders name, look to the fireband [Tison].Theyd better watch out!11 In Santo Domingo, the Revolution impacted the society in different ways. For the small Spanish creole class, the Revolution was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the chaos and reclaim their former western territory by supporting and recruiting

David Geggus, The Enigma of Jamaica in the 1790s: New Light on the Causes of Slave Rebellions The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 44, No. 2, (Apr., 1987), 271. David Geggus, The Sounds and Echoes of Freedom: The Impact of the Haitian Revolution and Latin America, Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean (Lanham, Maryland: Jaguar Books, 2007), 20-21. Geggus, The Sounds and Echoes of Freedom: The Impact of the Haitian Revolution and Latin America, 20-21.
11 10 9

Geggus, The Sounds and Echoes of Freedom, 21.


numerous enslaved Africans to fight for the King of Spain. However, the Spanish never achieved their objectives because of the abolition of slavery in Saint Domingue and the signing of the Treaty of Basel.12 From the perspective of late twentieth century nationalist Dominican historians, the surrender of Santo Domingo to France in 1795 is as one of the great traumas in Dominican history.13 In fact, the late President Joaqun Balaguer writes that Before the Treaty of Basel (1795), the colony's population was formed by the best of the families that had migrated to America, attracted by gold or by the fascinating mystery of remote expeditions.14 The Treaty of Basel disrupted the Spanish colonial system and plunged the country into a turbulent torrent of revolutions, wars, and invasions which brought it to bankruptcy and set it apart from the general development of the Spanish American colonies. 15 But more importantly, Balaguer concludes that all Dominicans today still had reason to fear what historically had worried the Spanish speaking inhabitants since

Walton William, Present State of the Spanish Colonies Including A Particular Report of Hispanolia or the Spanish Part of Santo Domingo with a General Survey of the Settlements of the South Continent of America, as Relates to History, Trade, Population, Customs, Manners, & Concise Statement of the Sentiments of the People on Their Relative Situation to the Mother Country, &c. (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster Row. 1810), 204. See Balaguer, La Isla Al Revs: Haiti y El Destino Dominicano, (Fundacion Jose Antonio Caro: Santo Domingo, 1984); Manuel Arturo Pea Battle, Orgenes del Estado Haitiano, Ciudad Trujillo, Editora Montalvo, 1954; Garca, Compendio de La Historia de Santo Domingo, 3rd. 4 vols. Santo Domingo: Imprenta de Garcia Hermanos, 1893. Balaguer, La Isla Al Revs: Haiti y El Destino Dominicano, (Fundacin Jos Antonio Caro: Santo Domingo, 1984).
15 14 13


Balaguer, La Isla Al Revs: Haiti y El Destino Dominicano, 59. 127

the early nineteenth century: African skin, African genes (i.e. bloods, phenotypic traits), and African culture.16 The cession of Santo Domingo had such an impact that Governor Garca continued his efforts to abandon the island after the massive wave of individuals departed earlier during the revolutionary years.17 The members of the Real Audiencia and their families embarked on these ships and left the governor behind with the last 1,165 men. By December 1799, word had spread throughout Santo Domingo that the black general Toussaint Louverture was making plans to occupy the Spanish frontier despite the official opposition of the French government.18 The fears of the remaining small elite population in Santo Domingo had become a reality. Nevertheless, Toussaint faced a real threat that came from the government of France. It was no secret that Napoleons plans in the early 1800s included the re-

See Balaguer, La Isla Al Revs. Balaguer is referring to the Haitian fear that was spreading throughout the Americas in the nineteenth century. However, Balaguer was not the only writer in the Dominican Republic who shared similar views in regards to the history of Santo Domingo. For example, Jacinto Gimbernard s Historia de Santo Domingo (Madrid: MELSA, 1975) is a piece of literature that is used by Dominican schoolchildren to illustrated anti-haitianism views and imagery. For example, Gimbernard depicted Toussaint as an animal native to Africa when he describes him as a lion. He further goes on by referencing the battle cries, tribal chiefs, and jungles impute primeval savagery to the African race. It was reported that when the cession of Santo Domingo was given to France, many of the elite residents that resided in the Spanish colony had migrated to other regions in the circum-Caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Cuba with the promise of land. However, when some of these residents embarked in Cuba there was no land to be found and so may had to be returned to Santo Domingo. See Deive, Las Emigraciones Dominicanas a Cuba: 1795-1808 (Santo Domingo: Fundacin Cultural Dominicana, 1989). See William, Present State of the Spanish Colonies Including A Particular Report of Hispanola or the Spanish Part of Santo Domingo.
18 17



establishment of slavery in Saint Domingue, and Toussaint knew that the only way to protect the west from France was to unite with the Spanish side.19 Hence, when Garca mentioned the possibility that Toussaint would take possession of Santo Domingo from Spain and govern for an interim under the guidance of the Spanish Empire, Toussaint, ever mindful of Bonapartes ascendancy on the island, replied, I am doing all this for the French Republic, officially, reminding Garcia that the French armies will shortly cross the Pyrenees just as easily as I crossed into Santo Domingo.20 On April 27, 1800, Toussaint received a decree from General Roume, the only legal French representative on the island. He immediately sent this decree to Governor Garca in Santo Domingo. Meanwhile, the Spanish inhabitants and many French colonial migrs had urged Garca to send delegates to Madrid to ask for the intercession of the King of Spain requesting a delay in unification.21 However, it was too late and on January 26, 1801, Toussaint entered the eastern side of the island, unifying French and Spanish Hispaniola. 22 Under a headline it was reported that, Toussaint Takes Spanish Santo Domingo for France. The announcement read:

See Chapter 3 for more on the Treaty of Basel; Also see Letters of Toussaint Louverature and of Edward Stevens, 1798-1800, in The American Historical Review 16: 64-101.
20 21 22


Ros, Night of Fire, 118-120. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 4, N.8.

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 59, N.4. A sus Conciudadanos de la partie Francesa de Santo Domingo.


Citizens, I announce to you with great satisfaction that I have taken possession of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo in the name of the French Republic. A column commanded by the General of Brigade, Moyse, march to the north against St. Yago; a second column commanded by the Chief of Brigade, Paul Louverture to the Southwest against Santo Domingo. Each of them were opposed by the Spaniards who seemed opposed to our taking possession. The columns, notwithstanding, pursued their rout. The measures of wisdom, of prudence and of humility which I had taken, prevented the effusion of blood; and with very little loss I gained possession of the whole island. Persuasions alone, after the first attack was the only means I made use of. My enterprise was crowned by the most brilliant successes.23 Dressed in his uniform that consisted of a kind of blue suspender, with a large red cape draping over his shoulders, red cuffs, with eight rows of lace on his arms; and an extremely large sword that was at all times suspended from his side, Toussaint was received in Santo Domingo with great satisfaction by the mulatto and black populations.24 One contemporary account writes that: Superb decorations covered the houses of proprietors and triumphal arches graced his entry to every town. The military, in their proudest array were anxious to obtain approbation by a soldier-like appearance, and a variety of plans were formed by the maritime people to testify their accordance with the public respect. Innumerable instances might be mentioned which would assume the air of romance, of the singular testimonies which occurred to honor him, and do justice to his character.25 Toussaints entrance into Santo Domingo introduced a new phase in Hispaniolas history. According to the British contemporary traveler James Franklin, his tour through

Toussaint Takes Spanish Saint Domingo for France, General Advertiser, Philadelphia, March 6, 1801. A copy of a similar newspaper announcement is available in the Haitian Revolutionary Collection housed at the Moorland-Spingarn Collection at Howard University.
24 25


Rainsford, A memoir of transactions (London: 1802), 256. Rainsford, A memoir of transactions (London: 1802), 256.


the Spanish part of the island was well attended and it provided an advantage to him because it provided assurance to the residents of Santo Domingo. Moreover, Toussaint was received by all sectors with great respect, and often with every demonstration of joy.26 Franklin furthermore argued that Toussaints acceptance in Santo Domingo was not surprising because of his success in Saint Domingue. This was certainly a necessary tour and it was not undertaken because of display or flamboyance. As he entered Santo Domingo, the Spanish flag, a patriotic symbol to the mother country of Spain, was lowered from the tower where it was replaced by the French tricolor, to the firing of a 22 cannon and the playing of Marseillaise in the background.27 Toussaint was given the keys to the city. The majority of defeated eastern inhabitants presented no opposition to the takeover. Furthermore, fifteen thousand enslaved Africans were freed on that day out of a total population of 125,000.28 Slavery was already abolished in Saint Domingue. The free coloreds were recognized as citizens and entitled to all rights. However, in Santo Domingo, where the majority of inhabitants were either enslaved Africans or free coloreds, Toussaint was seen to them as the savior to their land. One contemporary describes one individuals from Santo Domingo interaction with Toussaint:

26 27

See Franklin, Present State of Hayti, 130.

The national anthem of France, however it was also played during times of revolutionary movement. Jose Saez, La Iglesia y El Negro Esclavo en Santo Domingo: Una Historia de Tres Siglos (1997), 561.


[He was] A respectable negro, of the age of ninety-nine seated on a wicker chair, presented to [Toussaint] ten sons, the children of one wife, employed in agriculture, but ready to devote themselves to the service of their country whenever it should be necessary. [Toussaint] leaped from his horse, and knelt at the feet of the old man. Respectable age, said he, it is to such members as you, that your country is this day indebted for peace and freedom! As he arose, an aid-de-camp directed his attention to a solitary youth, who stood at a short distance, unnoticed. Who is that, exclaimed the General, apparently miserable on such a day?29 Toussaints tour throughout the Spanish part of the island infused a kind of confidence into the people, by whom he was received in every part with great respect, and often with every demonstration of joy.30 Moreover, the result of his tour proved that: The municipal governments were brought into one general system and a chain of communication established. The different brigades were rendered more effective by the better arrangement of the troops composing them, and armed posts were established throughout the island; well supplied with the ordnance his enemies had left behind. In fact, every part was put in a situation to withstand the utmost force of an enemy, however powerful, and to dispute with them every inch of ground. Nor during an attention to the internal safety of the country in a military view, were its maritime interests forgotten, every commercial encouragement was offered to the neighboring islands and the continent; the safety of the whites was established and their power of injuring the state curtailed.31 By unifying the two sides of the island, Toussaint named various officials to run the former Spanish colony and announced several measures designed to transform its economy from one which had thus far depended almost entirely on cattle ranching into one based on export agriculture. It was announced that his younger brother Paul Louverture who would be placed in Command of the former Spanish colony, while Toussaint proceeded with plans for Saint Domingue.
29 30 31

Rainsford, A Memoir of Transactions, 256. Franklin, The Present State of Hayit (London: 1826), 130-131.

Rainsford, A Memoir of Transactions that Took Place in St. Domingo in the Spring of 1799 (London: 1802) 258.


For those enslaved Africans and free people of color, Toussaints arrival was met with joy and satisfaction.32 Antonio Monte y Tejada, a resident of Santo Domingo during the Revolutionary and Unification years wrote a four volume study on the history of colonial Santo Domingo. He claims that Toussaint: Graciousness and courtesy contributed much towards easing the situation. His bearing was martial, his aspect noble and imposing, his expression benevolent. His manner was friendly and unconstrained, yet dignified. When addressed by an officer of lower rank, he would incline towards him and listen affably. He graciously acknowledged the marks of respect shown to him, but seemed to wish to avoid special recognition.33 Monte y Tejadas description of Toussaint clearly illustrates that he respected him as a human and as a governor of his colony. Toussaint was seen as someone who respected everyone regardless of the rank in the army or their status in society. He clearly saw everyone equal in terms of race and class in Hispaniola. Now that Santo Domingo was militarily secured within a unified state. It consisted of a predominantly black leadership that was intended on preserving the equality of all people, regardless of racial ancestry. Toussaints goal was to preserve liberty throughout Hispaniola by maintaining some kind of protection from foreign invasion over the island.34 In one of his addresses to the inhabitants of Santo Domingo Rainsford, A memoir of transactions, 256. Also see Apuentes historicos sobre Santo Domingo, Ocupacin de Santo Domingo por Toussaint Louverture in El Dominicano, Santiago, No. 17 (Mayo 1874), which had noted a similar account regarding Toussaints arrival in Santo Domingo. El Dominicano is one of the first newspapers established in the Dominican Republic during the nineteenth century. It was established in 1845, a year prior to Santo Domingos independence from Haiti. Juan Pablo Duarte, the founding father of Dominican independence, was involved with the development of the newspaper. Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo, Vol. 4 (Santo Domingo: Amigos del Pais, 1890).
34 33 32

Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, 50-51. 133

he asserts that his main obligation towards the Spanish side is to maintain possession of the territory.35 He did this in the name of the French Republic as stated in his Constitution of 1801. For Toussaint, the idea of unification was a right that guaranteed the tranquility of the state of Saint Domingue (which included Santo Domingo). He wrote: I constantly remained by my brothers in arms, general and officers, that the ranks to which theyd been raised were nothing but the reward for honor, bravery, and irreproachable conduct. That the higher they were above their fellow citizens, the more irreproachable all their actions and words must be; that scandals caused public men had consequences even more so than those of simple citizens; that the ranks and functions they bore hadnt been given to them to serve only their ambition, but had as caused and goal the general good.36 Toussaints integration of the east with Saint Domingue was what unifiers hoped would happen and it did with success. The former plantation slave owners and other elite classes of Saint Domingue benefited from this government because they maintained their estates.37 The democratic system was now part of the political practice in Santo Domingo, as part of the Saint Domingue state. For example, in Santiago, Toussaint appointed three members for its municipality. These were Antonio Pichardo, a white Spanish-Creole, Antonio Peres, an Afro-Spanish Mulatto, and Captain Casimero, a commander of the black Creole soldiers serving in the military of Spain during his presence in Santo Domingo.38 Toussaint, one could argue chose these individuals to

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 5, A las Administraciones Municipales de la Colonia y sus Conciudadanos. AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Estado 4, A sus Conciudadanos de la partie Francesa de Santo Domingo.
37 36


See Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti. (1805).


exemplify his democratic measures that also applied to the residents in Santo Domingo. Where he wanted to balance out the functions of equality within the new egalitarian system and gain the support from all of those who resided in Hispaniola.39 Toussaints administration began with the implementation of an economic program for the cultivation of the land in which primary crops such as cotton, coffee, cocoa, and sugar would be exported to foreign markets to increase revenues. Techniques used for the production of sugar in western Saint Domingue now applied to Santo Domingo. For example, port duties increased to 6 percent in order to bring in more state revenue.40 Furthermore, because the new state outlawed illegal trade that had been going on prior to unification, Santo Domingo also depended on the sale of cut wood and tobacco. The main concern was centered in the northern city of Santiago. With markets in Great Britain and the United States, Santo Domingos trade was growing considerably productive at the end of the eighteenth century. Chapter 3 showed that the Revolution had ended the commercial exports of the Spanish colony. Under Toussaints rule of Santo Domingo, the ports of Monti Cristi, Puerto Plata, Saman, Neiba, and Azua were reopened to the United States and Great Britain for commerce. This was intended to
38 39

Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti; Also Franklin, Present State of Haiti.

This was evident in his Constitution of 1801 where he had representatives of Santo Domingo representing the administrators for the Spanish side of the island. Also see Dubois and Garrigus, Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents, 36. See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti. Furthermore it was reported that in 1801, 64.768.179 francos were being exported out of Hispaniola. See Roberto Marte, Estadsticas y documentos histricos sobre Santo Domingo, 1805-1890 (Santo Domingo: Repblica Dominicana: Museo Nacional de Historia y Geografa, 1984), 73.


spark interest that all of Hispaniola would become economically prosperous. Another goal of Toussaints was to repopulate the island by inviting back those inhabitants who had relocated in the late eighteenth century.41 It was under the condition that those individuals who returned and remained on the island would continue to live with the intention of giving back to the economy under the conditions that were implemented under Toussaints government. Toussaints unification of Santo Domingo also brought with it an increase in livestock, which was useful for working the soil.42 As we have read earlier, the livestock industry in Santo Domingo was very high in cattle production. However, because of the outbreak of the Revolution, cattle production dropped off considerably. Commerce of the cattle industry began to pick up once again under his leadership. For Toussaint, the stimulation of agriculture was important to the security of freedom for Hispaniola.43 Moreover, because Santo Domingo had always been viewed as the untamed or uncultivated frontier in comparison to French Saint Domingue, in many ways, it was considered a backwater, a place of refuge. Consequently, it was seen as a territorial extension of the west. This vision of Santo Domingo as part of Saint Domingue was placed into effect in Toussaints Constitution of 1801.44

UFL, General Rochambeau Papers, D. Observation; Also see Franklin, 118. These inhabitants consisted of some white Spanish and French Creoles, along with the free coloreds and former enslaved Africans who remained on the island.
42 43


Beard, The Life of Toussaint LOuverture (1853), 145.

Toussaint firmly believed that in order to prevent a foreign attack, all of Hispaniola had to be protected politically, socially, and even economically. It was asserted that he firmly believed if the economy of Hispaniola to thrive again like it did prior to the Revolution, it would prevent from possible foreign invasions to the island.


On February 4, 1801, a constitutional assembly made up of mulattos and white creoles from Saint Domingue was organized to draft a new Constitution for the state. The new state was to remain a part of the French Empire; it was not to be a colony. Hence local laws were to be applicable to the island state. Therefore, Haiti had equal political, commercial, and cultural status with France as an autonomous province; it did not have the status of a colony, which had limited home rule. Under the new Constitution of 1801 the new state abolished the institution of slavery throughout the island. The document expressed the desire for egalitarianism as a system with no distinction for class or race; the island was very distinct from colonial racial systems of elitist minority rule. For example, an individual could have chosen to become a member of any aspect of society. The constitution was to uphold the idea that unification was important in maintaining the military security and political stability of the state. Hence, the constitutional development of the unified state initiated a very strong foundation grounded on moral virtues that were also included within the realm of family life, the sanctity of marriage, and Roman Catholicism; in keeping with the Constitution prohibited divorce.45 Furthermore, Toussaint invited expatriates of all colors and races to return to the island. He felt that it would only make the island prosperous and productive in terms of the population and agriculture. He devalued the currency, raising its equivalency from

All of these articles are stated in the Toussaints Constitution of 1801. JCB, Haytian Papers. A collection of the very interesting proclamations, and other documentswith a preface by Prince Saunders, esq. London: W. Reed., 1816; Also see Beard, The Life of Toussaint LOuverture (1856), 145.


Ibid., 145.


eight to eleven reales. Toussaint, made other changes as well, while preserving the system of large landholdings, he instituted a compulsory labor system enforced by the state, with harsh penalties for non-compliance. With these measures, Toussaint was attempting to neutralize the labor and to force the inhabitants out of their pastoral laziness.46 His ultimate goal was to convert Santo Domingos economy of cattle ranchers and tobacco plantations into one, which was agriculturally based under the French plantation model.47 As Turits points out, with the ending of the Haitian Revolution and Touissants unification brought about the ruin of land property in Santo Domingo. The haciendas were abandoned and agriculture was reduced to subsistence plots. Yet analogous to the century of misery, the history of nineteenth century economic stagnation represented a critical moment when commercial decline thwarted the development of a plantation economy and helped consolidate instead an independent peasantry. This decline may in fact have negatively affected only a narrow group in Santo Domingo. The abandonment of these estates opened up new areas to be used as public lands for hunting, herding, foraging, and shifting agriculture. In the case of the fertile Cibao region, the ranching crisis helped expand small tobacco farming. Therefore, commercial decline and political commotion contributed to peasant autonomy and empowerment. Prior to Haitian rule, no one in Santo Domingo owned anything because the land belonged to everyone.48

46 47 48

See Chapter 1. Franklin, The Present State of Haiti. See Turits, Foundations of Despotism, 39-44.


One contemporary account notes that at the end of 1801 the island of Hispaniola was at the state of: Once more in some degree of tranquility, and in submission to the authority of the negro chief, rapidly advancing in wealth and increasing its intercourse with those countries which sought to establish with it the friendly relations of commerce. But the short peace of the Amiens, which took place in October of that year, leaving the then ruler in France, Bonaparte, without power to contend with, his first object was the recovery of Saint Domingo.49 This development reflects a slave-based society such as the one that developed in Haiti and the one with which Toussaint was most familiar during the time of political unification. He kept this kind of economic establishment but added the whole idea of human equality and freedom that would be upheld and protected by the political establishment of Saint Domingue.50 Indeed, Toussaint wanted to change Hispaniola. He wanted to create a nation in which political, economic, and social development were grounded in the ideals of fairness and justice.51 As we have read earlier, the eighteenth century Atlantic world produced a group of political thinkers who had a theoretical vision of what a state should be in terms of equality, liberty, and freedom, but the practice did not quite address the problems of human beings held in the bondage of slavery. Furthermore, it neglected the

49 50 51

Franklin, The Present State of Hayti, 131. Beard, The Life of Toussaint LOuverture (1856), 145.

In on October 12, 1800 Toussaint had established a decree known as the Forced Labor Decree, which was his plan to restore social and economic policy to Saint Domingue and also Santo Domingo. The goal of the decree was to have the estates become the units of the local government, with the cultivators deprived of their freedom of movement and harsh treatment. The cultivators of the estates were too treated as discipline as soldiers, whose duty it was to serve the state. A copy of this decree is in Supplement to the Royal Gazette (Jamaica), 22, no. 47 (November 15-22, 1800)


place and role of women.52 Yet, Toussaint took the modernization of human development with respect to equality, liberty, and freedom just one-step further. As for Santo Domingo, it was of vital importance that the territory became an integral part of the new state. According to James, the popular belief among the people of color in both Saint Domingue and Santo Domingo was that Toussaint had united the island for the sake of preventing slavery.53 As for the residents in Santo Domingo, there was a definite dividing line between those who supported Toussaints control and those who wished to return to colonial rule. For the free people of color and the former enslaved Africans, many had expressed support to be ruled under Toussaints leadership.54 Yet, prejudice reigned among the white Spanish-Creole elite who had not been content with Toussaints administration over their colony.55 Since Santo Domingo was politically important to the Saint

Elizabeth Colwill in her forthcoming essay on women and liberty in Saint Domingue during and after the 1791 Revolution examines how free women of color particularly in Saint Domingue fought their way into gaining their freedom through the proclamations and degrees that were passed by these revolutionary leaders. For more see Colwill, Fete de lHymen, Fetes de la Liberte: Matrimony, Emancipation, and the Creation of New Men, in The World of the Haitian Revolution, David Geggus and Norman Fiering, eds (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2008), 23.


James, The Black Jacobins.

Rainsford, A memoir of transactions, 256. Also see Apuentes historicos sobre Santo Domingo, Ocupacion de Santo Domingo por Toussaint Louverture in El Dominicano, Santiago, No. 17 (Mayo 1874), which had noted a similar account regarding Toussaints arrival in Santo Domingo. El Dominicano is one of the first newspapers established in the Dominican Republic during the nineteenth century. It was first published in 1845, a year prior to Santo Domingos independence from Haiti. Juan Pablo Duarte, the founding father of Dominican independence, was involved with the development of the newspaper. Two outspoken Spanish elites from Santo Domingo who had expressed their opinion towards Toussaints rule were Don Francisco de Heredia and Gaspar de Arrendondo y Pinchardo. Don Francisco de Heredia was a landowner who resided in 140

Domingue state, the small elite population was waiting for the moment to dissolve its very existence because of its refusal to accept black rule. An anonymous eyewitness from the white elite class of Santo Domingo stated that: During his [Toussaint] rule we were vexed in all kinds of ways and made equal to our own slaves in the military and all public acts. In a dance that was given to celebrate the great entry of Moyse, before the arrival of the French armada, I was given the great distinction by the master of ceremonies of being asked to dance with a slave woman of my house, who was one of the principal ladies of the dance because she was pretty, and she had no other title or price to claim her freedom than the entry of the blacks in this country. We remained in this state, tolerating an equality that was accompanied everywhere by ignominy and cruel threats, since the black officers were already rushing to establish relations with the most distinguished ladies of the country, compromising at every step the honor of their families.56 These points of view regarding Toussaints administration and the unification of Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue were shared by many of the small white population. These opinions created obstacles to Saint Domingue and the future of the colony. The anti-black views among the elite inhabitants of western Saint Domingue continued to exist during the unification of the island. However, these elite classes were powerless against the political and military power of Toussaints regime since the population was Santo Domingo prior and during the 1791 slave insurrection in Saint Domingue. His view towards the Revolution is a good example of the conservative views the small Spanish elite had in Santo Domingo. His address, while exiled in Cuba, to the Ayuntamiento clearly illustrates his opinions towards the Revolution, its revolutionary figures, and the Spanish colonys reaction to these events. Arrendondo y Pichardo came from one of the most distinguished families in Santo Domingo during the colonial period. Born in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros in 1773, he studied at the University of Santo Domingo were he received his law degree. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Arrendondo y Pichardo had expressed great concern over the revolutionary events that were taking place in Hispaniola. In his account entitled La Memoria (1839), he expresses the rule of Toussaint, Dessalines, and Christophe as a great tragedy to Santo Domingo and its well respected inhabitants. Arrendondo y Pichardo died in Cuba on December 3, 1859. This account is described in Arrendondo y Pichardos account entitled La Memoria (1839). 141

relatively small in comparison to the free colored and former enslaved Africans both in Saint Domingue and Santo Domingo. In fact, there were claims that the population of St. Domingo at this period had greatly diminished; the natural increase had been very small, and the ravages of war had caused the loss of a great many57 However, not all of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo were against Toussaint administration. In early 1802, a revolt of former enslaved Africans occurred in Santo Domingo against the French garrison. This particular group favored Toussaints administration. The revolt occurred in the towns of Haina and Nigua located in the southeastern region of Santo Domingo. However, the rebellion was quickly controlled by Juan Baron, a mulatto from Santo Domingo who had supported France throughout the early revolutionary period and who led a group of armed men to fight against those who supported Toussaint in Santo Domingo. This French military invasion of Santo Domingo was significant because it was not as populated with people as Saint Domingue, especially after Toussaints take over. Therefore, the French military was able to launch a well planned attack from Santo Domingo against Saint Domingue because it was the most vulnerable part of the unified state.58 In fact, in Napoleon Bonapartes instructions to General Charles-Victor-Emanuel Leclerc, he writes that:

Franklin, 173. Also one has to remember that prior to the Saint Domingue Revolution, Santo Domingos population in comparison to their neighbor, was relatively small. Furthermore, throughout the course of the war, thousands of inhabitants in both Santo Domingo and Saint Domingue had fled to other territories in the Americas which contributed greatly to the amount of inhabitants that had resided in Hispaniola at the turn of the nineteenth century. There were able to convince the Spanish inhabitants freedom. In an article published in the Philadelphia Evening Post, Leclerc promises liberty to all of the 142


The second phase is that during which, with the two armies prepared, we will pursue the rebels without mercy; we will flush them out first of the French part and then of the Spanish part.The third phase is that in which Toussaint, Moyse, and Dessalines will no longer exist and three thousand or four thousand blacks who have retreated into the hills of the Spanish part will form what we call the islands maroons, and who we will succeed in destroying with time, steady effort, and a well-organized strategy of attack.59 Another group which looked at Toussaints government with suspicion was the cattle ranchers better known as the hateros, who preferred and supported leaders such as Baron. Since the late eighteenth century, cattle ranching had been one of the main productions for the small elite and peasant communities in Santo Domingo. Even the diet of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo during the colonial period consisted of mostly beef with a root crop or some other tropical agricultural crop along with their main staple.60 Since the eighteenth century, hateros such as Don Joseph de Salano, benefited tremendously from the cattle industry and now for the industry to be under a French like system they questioned the governments agenda.61 One reason alone raises the question regarding the issue of race and racial hierarchy that had existed in Santo Domingo at the turn of the nineteenth century. Since the eighteenth century, racial boundaries in Santo Domingo were considered extremely fluid by the Spanish elite in comparison to that of Saint Domingue. Some individuals of African descent such as Snchez Valverde managed to secure a position in the state, the inhabitants of St. Domingo, and that he would make them enjoy it. See French Oppression, Result of the Expedition of St. Domingo. Conduct of Gen. Leclerc and Others The Philadelphia Evening Post, 24, February 1804, vol. 1, no. 5.
59 60 61

Paul Roussier, ed. Lettres du Gnral Leclerc (Paris, 1937), 263-74. See Chapter 1. Moreau de Saint-Mry, xxiii-xxiv.


church, the university, and the military.62 Moreover, just like in Saint Domingue, a few people of color owned enslaved Africans and were wealthy. Consequently, some individuals in the nineteenth century asserted a status equivalent to whites and rejected racial identities associated with subordination. As one French observer wrote at the beginning of the nineteenth century: White, yellow, cooper, or black, they are Spaniards proud of themselvesand although they may be as black as ebony, they will tell you, thumping their chest with a pride greater than that found anywhere in the West Indies, or indeed in Europe I am blanco de la tierra [white of the land].63 However, former enslaved Africans looked with suspicion at this new system that prevented the acquisition of small properties by the masses and thus offered few of the benefits of the cattle ranching regime. Besides these motivating interests, the terror introduced by Colonel Jean Philippe Daut, consisting of slashing and sackings in the capital, illustrated what many regarded as the militarys essential inhumanity. Owning to the self-interest of the cattle ranchers and the neutrality of the former enslaved Africans, the French could count on the Spanish speaking inhabitants support to weaken Toussaints hold on the region.

See Peter Michael Voelz, Slave and Soldiers: The Military Impact of Blacks in the Colonial Americas (New York: Garland, 1993). Roberto Cass asserts that Sanchez Valverde was a person of African descent. See Brown (1837), 258. Several nineteenth century travelers in Santo Domingo had made reference to the race relations that existed on the island. Some were even surprised by the fact that blacks in Santo Domingo had referred to their western neighbor as those Negros see Mackenzie (1830), 215. But more importantly all of them made reference to the fact that many of the inhabitants had referred to themselves as blancos de la tierra.



Toussaints residence in Santo Domingo ended in March of 1801. In the meantime, the French administration that was welcomed and continued to prevail in Santo Domingo even after its army had been defeated in Saint Domingue still existed. Integration definitely went against the interests of those who had something to lose by the abolition of slavery and the land reform imposed by Toussaint. Furthermore, Toussaints new order never broke completely with French sovereignty rule, but gave no significant role to any French representative in the government of the unified former colonies. The direction with which Toussaint had set the course of the nation infuriated Napoleon; the French Consul thus wanted to invade Saint Domingue. Napoleon sent to Hispaniola an expeditionary force consisting of 50 ships, 20,000 sailors and 21,900 soldiers. It was commanded by his brother-in-law, Charles Victor Emmanuel Leclerc who was in charge of the largest colonial force ever sent out from France.64 After his arrival in Santo Domingo, Leclerc found support for his invasion from the Spanish descent creoles.65 Led by the caudillos such as Baron, the mulattoes acted on their refusal to be dominated by the blacks in Saint Domingue. Meanwhile, on October 17, 1802 the mulatto generals Petion, Clervaux, and Daut in alliance with Charles Belair led the revolt against the French in Haut-du-Cap. Their combined forces outnumbered Leclercs army, which was suffering from yellow fever. The French failure nevertheless John Kobler Haitian Collection, Box 2, Folder 2/3. Schomburg Research Center on Black Culture, New York City. UFL, General Rochambeau Papers, Gerbier, LS to: General Leclerc, August 3, 1801. The letter General Leclerc discusses the situation in St. Domingue, and particularly to the support the French army has received by several individuals in Santo Domingo.
65 64


gave Spanish speaking elites in Santo Domingo the opportunity to reinstitute slavery, and in doing so reinforced the dominance of the cattle ranchers. Thus they blocked the growth of the budding middle class. Garca disliked the two French generals Jean Louis Ferrand and Kerverseau who where already administrators of the colony.66 Therefore, he was not compelling enough to submit to another foreign government in Santo Domingo. Substantial numbers of eastern inhabitants who were supporting the cause of the mulattoes of southern Haiti were now enemies of Toussaint.67 Therefore, this led the movement of Saint Domingues army to withdraw from the Spanish side of the island after three years of occupying it. They had virtually ceded that sector to be controlled for the next nine years by the French forces. By 1803, war had resumed between France and Britain, and Bonaparte once again concentrated his energies on the struggle in Europe. In April of 1803, Bonaparte signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty that would allow the possession of Louisiana by the United States and ended the French ambitions in the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, General Rochambeau, who had replaced LeClerc after his death, sent reinforcements, which never arrived in sufficient numbers. He fled to Jamaica in November 1803, where he surrendered to British authorities rather than face the redistribution of the rebel

There was no denying that Garca disliked the French and he had expressed it on many occasions in his letters back and forth to Madrid. This dislike stems from the fact that they were French men who disliked the Spanish and vise-versa. The other part stems from Garcas desires, since the appointment of governor of the colony, to regain the western lands that were once all of Santo Domingo from the French. UFL, General Rochambeau Papers, Letter from Leclerc, Victor Emmanuel to Le Ministre de la Marine, October 7, 1802.


Beard, The Life of Toussaint LOuverture (1856), 162. 146

leadership. Meanwhile, Dessalines and the rest of the black generals were determined to continue with Toussaints orders towards France. They achieved this on January 1, 1804 when they proclaimed the independence of Haiti.68 French colonial rule in Saint Domingue had ended, but continued in eastern Santo Domingo. In the city of Arcahaye on 18 May 1804, Dessalines obtained the pledges of Generals Christophe, Clervaux, and Petion to unite under his command. He then took the tricolor of Frances flag and destroyed it. The next day, his goddaughter by the name of Catherine Flon, sowed together the remaining blue and red bands of the former French flag, and replaced the blue band with a black one.69 Dessalines had finished his task: the creation of a flag for Haiti. After Haitis independence from France, Dessalines declared that Never will a European colonist set foot on the territory of Haiti as a master or proprietor.70 This decision, was made by law in the Constitution of 1805, and would remain in force until the mid-twentieth century at the time of the United States occupation.71 On September

For the naming of Haiti, see Geggus, The Naming of Haiti, in Haitian Revolutionary Studies. See Pat Chin, Gregory Dunkel, Sara Flounders (eds.), Haiti: A Slave Revolution 200 years after 1804 (International Action Center), 2004.
70 71 69


See Matibag, Haitian-Dominican Counterpoint.

A copy of the 1805 Haitian Constitution is in JCB, Dubroca, Vida de J.J. Dessalines Gefe de los negros de Santo Domingo (1806), 75-82. Since the 1791 Revolution, Haiti has been destroyed by the politics of postcolonial manipulations, class demarcations, natural disasters, and suffocating dictatorships. The country has suffered a series of presidential rules that were not successful at building the economy of the country. According to Dubois and Garrigus in Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 17891804: A Brief History with Documents, the 1805 Constitution defined the themes of 147

22, 1805, Dessalines crowned himself Emperor Jean-Jacques I and soon after his coronation he ordered 25,000 troops to invade and attempt to unify the now French colony of controlled Santo Domingo.72 During the months that Dessalines was organizing his government in Haiti, a small group of French soldiers under the command of General Ferrand continued to occupy Santo Domingo. During Ferrands regime slavery was reestablished and soon the citizens of Santo Domingo expressed their preference for the French rule. These attitudes can be determined perhaps by the presence of French families taking refuge among the Spanish inhabitants.73 As a counter measure to Dessalines threat of attack, Ferrand issued his directive to the eastern inhabitants. He asserted that all Haitian prisoners older than 14 years of age were to be enrolled in the army against the east. Ferrand established this decree in 1804 when he along with his army of 25,000 men made their way across the border towards Cap Franais to attack the black republic.74 Like Toussaint,

unity against European racism and colonialism and a broad definition of the new country as a refuge for enslaved people of kinds. Dessalines was at this time around 46 years old, about 52. He was described as having a robusta and cachigordillo complexion. Moreover he was said to as having a big head, a wide nose, and short coarse hair. He was always dressed as a General with a sword at his side. JCB, Dubroca, Vida de J.J. Dessalines Gege de los Negros de Santo Domingo; Con notas muy circumstanciadas sobre el origin, carcter y atrocidades de los principales gefes de aquellos rebeldes, desde el principio de la insurreccion de 1791 (1806), 70.
73 74 72

See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti.

L. Ferrand, general de brigade, comandante en jefe de la colonia de Santo Domingo, Decreto. Santo Domingo, 22 de enero de 1804.


Dessalines strongly believed that the military security of Santo Domingo within the Haitian State was a way to maintain independence.75 The early part of the nineteenth century was a time of rapidly shifting power arrangements and allegiances throughout the Americas. Since before the withdrawal of the decree prohibiting white ownership of the land, the eastern inhabitants had feared that Haitian rule would put an end to all property ownership by the remaining Spanish colonists. Yet at the same time, they found this rule just as unsatisfactory. A factor that was important to Dessalines was to eliminate any of Haitis enemies from the island. Since Haitian independence, he wanted to chastise the Revolutions enemies in the Spanish sector and drive out the French enemies. However, Dessalines needed to secure his power in Haiti before he could carry out a new military campaign. Therefore, he waited over a year to invade the eastern side. Moreover, General Ferrands decrees authorizing the crossing of the frontier by slave owners who were in search of enslaved Africans for their plantations provoked Dessalines even further. He was even more committed to attack those individuals who resided in Santo Domingo.76 Dessalines indicated in his proclamation that the French armies were to be expelled from all the territories of Hispaniola and that the government of Haiti was going to liberate Santo Domingo from the French. He specified that the inhabitants of Santo Domingo had to change to become part of Haiti. He also was willing to punish the French of Santo Domingo for what he considered the unjust treatment of the people of

JCB, Dubroca, Vida de J.J. Dessalines Gefe de los negros de Santo Domingo (1806), 73. See Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti Comprehending a Few of the Principal Transactions (1805).



Haiti. In the proclamation, he extended to the white Spanish-Creole population a chance to join the struggle to liberate the rest of Haiti and to help in the expulsion of the French military. Dessalines wrote: Scarce had the French army been expelled, when you hastened to acknowledge my authority; by free and spontaneous movement of your heart, you ranged yourselves under my subjection. More careful of the prosperity than desirous of the ruin of that part which you inhabit, I gave to this homage a favorable reception. From that moment I have considered you as my children, and my fidelity to you remains undiminished.77 He gave the population of Santo Domingo a total of 15 days to join under the Haitian state. If they decided to join, he promised to guarantee the protection of local interests such as property and personal security as long as they were loyal to the Haitian state. Dessalines was willing to give them a chance to decide what they wanted and that was to join Haiti or to remain with France.78 He claimed that: Spaniards! You Whom I address, because I desire to save you; you who although guilty of dissention, may preserve your existence and find my clemency ready to spare you do no wish your blood to be mingled with theirs. I give you a fortnight from this date, to acquaint me with your final intentions and to gather under my flag. You know what I can do, and what I have done; think of your preservation. Receive the sacred promise, which I give never to make any attack against your personal safety and interests, if you seize the opportunity of showing yourselves worthy of being numbered among the children of Hayti.79 It is clear from his address to the inhabitants in Santo Domingo that Dessalines was threatening them of an attack if they refused to unite once again with Haiti. He reasoning

77 78

Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, 435.

After the declaration of independence of Haiti in 1804, he became Governor General for life of Haiti and served in the role until September 22, 1804, when he proclaimed himself Emperor of Haiti. He was crowned Emperor Jacques I in a coronation ceremony on October 6 1805 in the city of Le Cap.

See Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, 456.


for attack is that he wanted to protect both sides of the island from any possible foreign invasion. As a result, the Haitian political authorities decided to unify the frontier towns of Santiago, Cotui, and La Vega. Dessalines then appointed Jose Campos Tavares, a former slave of the priest Don Pedro Tavares, as the Commander of the town of Puerto Plata in northern Santo Domingo.80 The governor began to tax the local population of Santo Domingo, who were again citizens of the Haitian state, to help with the cost of the war effort.81 The white Spanish-Creole elites opted to leave and went to settle in Cuba rather than live in Haiti. The Haitian invasion brought on by Dessalines in Santo Domingo in March of 1805 led to the city of Santo Domingo surrounded by over 21,000 Haitians. The battle lasted for three weeks. In one of his last summons, Dessalines indicated in writing that the punishment reserved for each one of the Chiefs: Ferrand was to be sawed between two boards; disemboweled like a pig: The other officers were to be destined to perish in a bonfire, and the soldiers were to be beheaded.82 The Haitians lifted the seige but fell back through the settled area of the interior. However, the army made its presence felt by Jose Campo Taveres was became an important person during the early nineteenth century in Santo Domingo. He represented the many inhabitants from the frontier cities that had probably felt more Haitian then individuals from Santo Domingo and were very much in favor of Haitian Unification. During Christophes regine over northern Haiti, Taveres was appointed to the position of governor for the Cibao region. Prince Saunders, Haytian Papers, A Collection of the very Interesting Proclamations and other Official Documents, together with some account of the rise and progress, and present state of the Kingdom of Hayti (Boston, 1818), 35; also see AGN, Alejandro Llenas, Invasion de Dessalines El Dominicano, 17, de mayo 1874. W.W. Harvey, Sketches of Haiti: from the Explusion of the French, to the Death of Christophe (London, 1827). AGN, Alejandro Llenas, Invasion de Dessalines El Dominicano, 17, de mayo 1874; Lemonnier-Delafosse, Segunda campaa de Santo Domingo, 114-116.
82 81 80


destroying the towns of Monte Plata, Cotui, and La Vega. Moreover, they continued by slaughtering the citizens of Moca and Santiago. They cities were set ablaze and the churches crumbled in ashes. In the town of Moca only two people survived.83 This massive slaughter by the Haitian army would have important consequences in regards to the future relationship between Dominicans and Haitians.84 At the time, it triggered a massive rush to migrate. Gaspar de Arrendondo y Pichardo fled the island recalling the invasion of Dessalines as ruthless when his military forces entered Santo Domingo.85 He witnessed the military invasion of Santiago and the destruction and capture of prisoners who were killed during this time. Arrendondo y Pichardo refused to accept the political authority of the Haitian government in Santo Domingo. The inhabitants in Santo Domingo came to the conclusion that their military weakness once again destined their country to fall under Haitian and French rule. Those individuals who remained on the eastern side of Hispaniola continued to feel insecure, and this largely counteracted with the efforts that the French made in the next three years to reconstruct the country and improve its economy.86 The French military government was always aware of the strength of pro-Hispanic sentiments among

83 84

AGN, Llenas, Invasion de Dessalines El Dominicano, 17, de mayo 1874.

Violence has been and continues to be a part of Dominican and Haitian societies. The island today has been destroyed by the politics of colonial and postcolonial manipulations, class demarcations, natural disasters, and suffocating dictatorships. Furthermore, throughout the years, various Haitian and Dominican leaders have gone to great lengths to deny the people a sense of citizenship, dignity, and responsibility, which has led to violent interruptions throughout Hispaniola. Rodrquez Demorozi, Invasiones de Haitiana 1801, 1805, 1822 (Ciudad Trujillo: Academia Dominicana de la Historia. Publicaciones 1, 1955).
86 85

Walton, Present State of the Spanish Colonies, 203. 152

certain sectors of the population, therefore they attempted to set up a paternalistic sort of government which respected Spanish traditional laws and customs.87 According to one account, it was believed that the French saw that between the Haitians and those from Santo Domingo, the residents from Santo Domingo were among the frugal well seasoned natives of Hispaniola.88 This respect can best be seen when the French colonial administration of Santo Domingo issued a proclamation that was clearly against the Haitian state. In Article III it is stated that any Haitian individual who was captured in Santo Domingo would remain in the eastern side of the island.89 Moreover, children could be taken to the plantations of Ozama to the south and the Cibao region of the North central part of Santo Domingo. Furthermore, General Ferrand in Article V indicated that all individuals who were black males and mulatto females were to be sold into a state of slavery in Santo Domingo. Any black rebel from Haiti was ordered to submit to the imperial government of France only in good faith as stated in Article XIII of the proclamation.90 Strategically protecting the whole island became a primary importance for the concentration of Haitian forces in Santo Domingo. The Haitian government thought that failure to protect the western part of the island would be dangerous to an external French Publications on the Independence of Haiti, 1807-15, Department of State. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Also see Guillerman, Journal historique de la revolucion de la partie de lest de Saint-Domingue, 37.
88 89 87

Walton, Present State of the Spanish Colonies, 195.

Guillerman, Journal historique de la revolucion de la partie de lest de SaintDomingue, 338. It is important to note that the French utilize Santo Domingo to regain control in Haiti.

Ibid., 338.


invasion if the Haitian forces were scattered throughout Santo Domingo because they still considered the eastern side of the island as part of their territory.91 The relative harmony between the French and the Spanish speaking inhabitants in Santo Domingo was beginning to diminish in 1805; however by 1808 this began to change. The first sign was seen by Governor Ferrands order to the colonys inhabitants to suspend all trade with the Haitians, in particular the commerce in cattle, and secondly, and more seriously by Napoleons invasion of Spain. The popular uprisings against the French, which took place in Madrid on May 2, 1808 were common knowledge in the West Indies, especially among the Spanish speaking inhabitants living in exile in Puerto Rico. Rich landowners such as Juan Sanchez Ramirez obtained the governors support of expelling the French from Santo Domingo. As early as July of 1808, it was known in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that a governing junta had replaced the deposed Ferdinand VII and that in the name of Spain it had declared war on France.92 When Sanchez Ramirez returned to Santo Domingo between July and November of 1808 he began to devote himself to organizing a conspiracy against French rule by recruiting an army of two thousand men. On November 7, 1808, Sanchez Ramirez rounded up his army against six hundred French soldiers in the eastern part of the This clearly is stated in the 1801 Constitution in which Article I states that Santo Domingo including the territories of Saman, Tortuga, Gonve, Cayemites, Ille-Vaches, Saona and other adjacent island, constitute the territory of the colony. This article was subsequent in every Haitian constitution up until 1843. JCB, Dubroca, Vida de J.J. Dessalines, Gefe de los negros de Santo Domingo (1806), 75-82. Furthermore, several newspapers accounts such as the Philadelphia Evening Post asserted that all of Hispaniola was under Haitian rule. For example see the article entitled French: Haytians, Havana: Spaniards: British: St. Domingo: Cuba The Philadelphia Evening Post, 9, April 1804.
92 91

See Cass, Historia Social y Econmica de La Repblica Dominicana.


country. At the battle of La Sabana de Palo Hincado, the French were defeated and Ferrand died. As soon as news of this defeat reached the city of Santo Domingo the French army planned its attack. However, Ramirezs troops were not strong enough to capture the city, and the attack continued on for eight months. Meanwhile, the British in Jamaica had been in contact with the Spaniards in Puerto Rico and, once the siege to take Hispaniola began, they blockaded the port of Santo Domingo. When the French, routed by hunger, finally surrendered to British naval forces in July 1808-09, it came as a somewhat of an upset to the inhabitants of Santo Domingo, who had begun fighting the French over a year before.93 To witness the capital of their country surrendered not to them but to the British angered the eastern inhabitants even further. This opinion is seen with Dona Catalina, a Spanish widow whose family was of Spanish descent. Dona Catalina resided in a cottage named Nicaragua outside the southern town of Neyba, which is about 30 miles outside of Santo Domingo. During Charles Mackenzies travels of Santo Domingo in the nineteenth century, he commented that Dona Catalina had viewed the British invaders as a perfect understanding between herself and the formidable invader.94 This opinion towards the British by the inhabitants of Santo Domingo illustrates that they were viewed as dangerous to the colony and alludes to the frustration one could have over the invasion. Only after difficult negotiations did the British consent to evacuate the city, but not before removing the bells from the churches and the best guns from the fortifications. Nor did they omit to make the new local authorities deliver enormous loads of caoba
93 94

Walton, Present State of Spanish Colonies, 218. Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, vol. II (1826), 312-313.


wood to pay for the naval blockade and, as if that were not enough, the Spanish inhabitants had to guarantee British vessels free access to the colony, and concede equal treatment with Spanish products and manufactures to British imports.95 When British seized Santo Domingo, they demanded of the Spanish inhabitants that: Article I. That all vessels bearing the flag of Great Britain, and navigated according to law, shall have free access and admission into all the ports under the Spanish Government of this island; where they shall pay the same duties and imports as those of Spanish vessels, enjoying the rights, liberties, and privileges in navigation and commerce equally with the latter. Article II. That the persons and property of all British subjects in the Spanish domains of St. Domingo shall be under the safeguard and protection of the government. Article III. The contracting parties having taken upon themselves to agree to the aforesaid articles, they are at the same time to be considered only in force for the time being until submitted to the respective governments of Great Britain and Spain.96 These regulations placed on the Spanish inhabitants by the British created tensions between the two groups. For the British it was a second attempt for them to regain the territory of Hispaniola and establish free trade.97 For the inhabitants of Santo Domingo it was the idea of once again being dominated by a European power was unbearable. Meanwhile, with the militancy of their anti-colonial struggle still fresh in their minds, the Haitians still feared the possibility of the reinstitution of enslavement. Bryan, The Independencia Efimera of 1821, and the Haitian Invasion of Santo Domingo 1822: A Case of Pre-emptive Independence, Caribbean Quarterly, (1995). We, the undersigned, Major General Hugh Lyle Carmichael, commanding his Britannic Majestys forces, in the island of Santo Domingo; and Don Juan Sanchez Ramierz Governor Intendant and Capitan General (per interim) of the Spanish part of the island. Copy of Letter enclosed in Waltons Present State of the Spanish Colonies, 225227. Also PRO W/O 75 Jamaica, 20 1810. Letter addressed to Captain Twigg in which he reports that the Spanish government is to the British for one half of the ordinance.
97 96 95

See Chapter 2. 156

Because of the restoration of slavery in the French Antilles, racial and political lines were being drawn. Men of color in the islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Croix no longer could marry whites. Likewise they could not enjoy the protection before the law equal to that of the whites.98 In the uprisings subsequent to the re-imposition of slavery, the black General Belair led the battle in the north and west of Haiti.99 Among the residents in Santo Domingo who remained after the invasions at the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were those who anticipated an improvement under the more economically advanced French.100 The French planters and their technicians, possessing the know-how to organize production of sugar, cacao, tobacco, and coffee, could have furnished the capital and the drive to transform the cattle-based Eastern economy into one focused on the plantation structure, thereby laying the base for the future emergence of a Spanish speaking elite community. Governor Ferrand did what he could to strengthen Santo Domingo against the onslaughts of Haiti. For example, Ferrand took steps to stimulate trade, particularly with the United States. He sought business credits; he continued his earlier efforts to increase agricultural production, especially export crops. He lowered taxes, built a canal for the city of Santo Domingo, and encouraged other badly needed public works project. He initiated the establishment and construction of schools, and even began the development of a major

Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004).


Matibag, Haitian-Dominican Counterpoint. See Chapter 2 and the history of French colonization in Saint Domingue.



port to be name Port Napoleon, in the vicinity of Puerto Escondido on the southeastern shore of Samana Bay.101 In addition, he made progress in repopulating the abandoned areas of Santo Domingo, welcoming the return of many French foreigners despite any pro-Spanish sympathies they might have.102 The Roman Catholic Church regained much of its prestige, although the Frenchmen did not go so far as to return property and land to the previous clerical owners. With the help of the clergy he was able to reestablish his authority in the Cibao region where the citizens were defenseless to the Haitian army. However, during the occupation he undid what Toussaint had achieved in Santo Domingo. As noted slavery was reestablished in July 1802 in Santo Domingo which nullified Toussaints abolition of it in 1801, therefore Ferrand found no obstacle in authorizing the Spanish to carry on the slave trade for 12 years, and foreign trafficking for six years.103 Therefore, it can be argued that to some degree that the small elite Spanish population benefited somewhat under Ferrands rule. Yet, none of these measures could prevent the loyalists from rising up in a struggle intended to restore Spanish sovereignty over the colony. Indeed, the occupation under Ferrand could possibly have established development and industrialization in Santo

Original plans of this project are reportedly housed at the National Archives in Washington D.C. L. Ferrand, Commandante en Jefe de Santo Domingo, Decreto. Santo Domingo, 6 de enero 1805. It is important to note that the abolition of the British Slave Trade which took place in 1807 played a factor in determining the outcome of the slave trade for Spanish colonies in the early nineteenth century.
103 102



Domingo had the French imperialist project not been cut short by the actions of the growing pro-Spanish movement.104 As will be discussed in detail, the residents in Santo Domingo had gone to war against the French in order to restore Spanish rule in Santo Domingo just as the rest of Hispanic America was preparing to renounce Spanish colonialism.105 Furthermore, the so-called War of Re-conquest (1808-1809), following the two invasions by the Haitians (1802 and 1805), had left the country completely devastated. The economy was destroyed.106 The cattle, which had thrived in Santo Domingo during the mid to late eighteenth century had been destroyed or consumed by the clashing armies since the revolutionary days. In spite of the many efforts made to revive it, at no time in the nineteenth century did stock-rearing succeed in regaining the volume of exports it had attained in the eighteenth century. Subsistence agriculture now accounted for the most visible activity, and the only money-producing occupations were the cutting and exportation of caoba wood from the south, and the growing and exportation of tobacco from the north of the country. Exports consisted of a few dozen tons of tobacco yearly, some thousands hides, some caoba wood and a little molasses and rum.107 Imports

Ferrand made one serious mistake; he relied too much on his commissioner of police, a Spaniard by the name of Gallardo, whose cruelties were directed to the poor of Santo Domingo. For more literature regarding the Spanish Independence movement see George Reid Andrews, Afro-Latin America: 1800-2000 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), Langley, The Americas.
106 105


See Marte, Estadsticas y documentos histricos sobre Santo Domingo, 1805Ibid., 81.

1890, 81.


consisted solely of what was strictly necessary for an impoverished population, which amounted to no more than some 75,000 inhabitants. This was less than 30 percent of what it had been fifteen years before.108 Moreover, it was stated that the mixture of the residents was extremely blended consisting of white, Indian, and black blood.109 The European Spaniards are few, and principally consist of Catalans, who in search of fortunes and keep shops. Besides there were too many poor settlers that live in the mountains and the unknown maroons that also made up the rest of population in Santo Domingo. By 1818 Alexandre Petion was succeeded as president of the republic by his secretary and minister General Jean Pierre Boyer.110 As we will learn in Chapter 6 Boyer followed in Petitons footsteps and extended these policies in Santo Domingo. Thus, he continued a foreign trade under a tariff system. His licensing and patent laws hampered business. For the first seven years, Boyers policy of hopeful expectation failed. The Walton, Present State of the Spanish Colonies, 131. Walton provides a census of how many individuals reside in the various towns of Santo Domingo during the first half of the nineteenth century. However, he does not break down the numbers according to race and/or color and he does not include the maroon community that continues to exist along the frontier region the colony.
109 110 108


Two years later, in October of 1820, King Christophe in the north suffered a stroke while attending service. Christophes illness offered an opening for a conspiracy against him among his own men, worried by his dictatorship and by the enormous labors the king had imposed on the whole northern population in order to complete the construction of his Citadell. He discovered a conspiracy. Christophe felt disabled and betrayed: he committed suicide moments before the mob, in open revolt, set fire to his palace of Sans Souci. The rebels in the north of Haiti called in Boyer, who speedily marched in with his army and occupied the city of Cap Haitien in 1820. The utterly different level of return produced for the respective states by the two contrasting regimes in the north and south of Haiti now became one. Whereas Ption had created a free peasantry, owning the lands he had distributed, but had weakened the state, Christophe had enriched his state, but returned the masses to bondage.


economic conditions of the island remained unimproved; the sugar mills and irrigation systems remained in ruins. The only staple of export, which produced significant foreign exchange was coffee, usually picked from wild trees by women and children, and then shipped to France or Belgium. Subsistence agriculture on small units in the fertile areas along with livestock provided food for the masses. Toussaints unification with Santo Domingo affected the colony immensely. The implications of his administration had in all of Hispaniola were complex and contradictory at times. Under Toussaints rule, mulattoes and blacks were given their freedom and the idea that racial equality had been established. However, when the French forces invaded the Santo Domingo, the ideological and psychological effect of another European rule reiterated the colonial factors that eastern inhabitants had to endure during Spanish colonization. Meanwhile, Dessalines rule over Santo Domingo and the fear, which it brought to several inhabitants. During the nineteenth century, both Ption and Christophe had expressed with great interest of their gaining control over Santo Domingo. However, this unification plan was difficult to obtain for these early Haitian leaders because of French control and administration over Santo Domingo. Toussaint, Dessalines and Christophe regime flourished to some degree in Haiti because these leaders kept state lands intact and forced the population to work. As for those residents in Santo Domingo, the colony beginning in 1809 reverted back to Spanish rule where they were not only deprived of the basic goods but saw that the lack of administration led to a massive debt in their economy and society.


CHAPTER 5 SPAINS LOSS, HAITIS GAIN: LA ESPAA BOBA AND THE CAL FOR HAITIAN UNIFICATION IN SANTO DOMINGO (1809-1822) If Santo Domingo had committed an enormous fault of some sort since its discovery, or contracted a grave transgression to deserve the indignation and the grudge of Spain, it has earned forgiveness for its demerits with the valor and the joyous success of the war.1 When the inhabitants of Santo Domingo expelled the French from their territory after the War of Re-conquest in 1809, they voluntarily re-imposed Spanish rule instead of seeking independence.2 This was the second attempt at Spanish colonization in Santo Domingo, which lasted from 1809 to 1821. This period unfortunately for those in Santo Domingo was not the best of times to seek Spanish protection. First, there was no king in Spain and the other Spanish colonies in the Americas were starting to rebel against the colonial system. Second, the Saint Domingue Revolution and armed conflicts with the French and the British since 1789 had destroyed Santo Domingos economy and infrastructure, and decimated the population. This contributed to the colonial treasurys lack of funds to work effectively throughout the second Spanish colonization period. From 1804 to 1822, both Haiti and Santo Domingo experienced drastic changes. Hispaniola experienced an internal reorganization as it prepared to consolidate the gains of the Revolution. This was a time to experiment with different levels of liberalism and authoritarianism, which in turn involved different approaches to national economies and JCB, Jos Nuez de Cceres, Declaratoria de Independencia del Pueblo Dominicano 1821. The War of Re-conquest took place at a time when Spain was without a King, without resources, and without the possibility of effectively governing its Hispanic American colonies. This occurred right around the time when Spanish colonies were revolting against the Spanish government.
2 1


labor practices. In Haiti, Dessalines and Christophe tried desperate measures to achieve compliance and to compel workers to generate production levels similar to those that the colony maintained before the Revolution. Ption and his successor, Jean Pierre Boyer, tested more generous approaches to politics with workers and the population in general. As an indication of the international role Haiti would want to play in the future, Ption welcomed Simn Bolvar and supported his anti-colonial cause with money and soldiers.3 For Santo Domingo, it was a time of rapidly shifting power arrangements since before the withdrawal of European ownership of the land, the Spanish creoles in Santo Domingo had feared that Toussaints Unification would put an end to all property ownership by Spanish creole elite colonists. It is important to note that the nineteenth century in Santo Domingo was in many ways the century of peasantry. Given the limited commercial opportunities, the inhabitants in Santo Domingo had few incentives to accumulate land and forcible modernize land tenure arrangements and property laws prior to French rule. Yet they would find French rule unsatisfactory, too. Indeed, it would be the fear of the dispossession under a French takeover that would later fuel the Knight, The Haitian Revolution. American Historical Review, vol.105, no. 1, (2000), 103-115. As Knight states the question of Ptions aid to Bolivar is also central to assessing Haitis contribution to the process of decolonization. As Bolivar already had ships at his disposal, and the Haitian government was hardly his sole source of arms and soldiers, the episode was perhaps not indispensable to the liberation of Spanish America. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how else these two expeditions could have been launched from within the Caribbean at a time when the European colonies were hostile to the insurgents presence. Furthermore, this was not Haitis only role in the Spanish American independence struggle. Ption had already given modest assistance to Francisco Mirandas unsuccessful invasion of Venezuela in 1806, and he and his successor, Boyer, helped equip other insurgent expeditions between 1816 and 1819, including that of Francisco Mina to Mexico. Numerous Haitians also took part as private individuals in the revolution of New Granada and Venezuela. They participated as seamen, ship owners, and soldiers. The printer of Venezuelas first constitution (whose first book was The Rights of Man) was also a Haitian citizen.


fires of the Re-conquest, aided by the British. The war ended French colonization and led to the restoration of Spanish rule in Santo Domingo. However, Spanish colonization proved to be a total loss for the residents in Santo Domingo, which led to a brief movement for independence. Yet in the end, the small ruling administration in Santo Domingo proved that they could no longer maintain their independence due to those who were very much in support of unifying with then Haitian President Boyer. This loss in Santo Domingo created another opening for Haitian rule. Prior to the Saint Domingue Revolution, Santo Domingos population, which had reached to about 180,000 inhabitants by 1789 was reduced to less than half by 1809.4 In fact, the census of the population in Santo Domingo in 1810, had listed that 103,900 inhabitants resided in the colony.5 Therefore, in those twenty years, Santo Domingo lost most of its educated elite and the colonial entrepreneurs who had been responsible for its economic revival during the second half of the eighteenth century.6 This act was first caused by the Haitian Revolution and then second by the French occupation. As a result it would take the economy in Santo Domingo more than forty years to recuperate.7

4 5

Walton, Present State of the Spanish Colonies (1810), 128-129.

Saez, La Iglesia y El Negro Esclavo en Santo Domingo: Una Historia de Tres Siglos, 561. As noted in Chapter 3, with the aftermath of the 1795 Treaty of Basel, Santo Domingo lost most of its small wealthy planters and clergy. Only a few remained on the island afterwards. The majority of the inhabitants fled to other Spanish colonies such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. Jorge L. Chinea, Race, Colonial Exploitation and West Indian Immigration in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico, 1800-1850, The Americas, Vol. 52, No. 4 (1996), 495-519.
7 6

Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 116. 164

As noted, Santo Domingo at the turn of the nineteenth century was very different from Haiti in terms of its landscape, economy, social and racial structure. Free mulattoes felt more akin to their Spanish counterparts than to the former enslaved Africans from whom they had descended. According to one contemporary account: It is absolutely certain that the great majority of the Spanish colonists are mestizo, who still have more than a touch of African which betrays them immediately. There results from this attitude a kindness that is consequently extended to slaves. They are fed, generally, like their masters and tended with a gentleness that is unknown in the other nations which have colonies. Furthermore, since every slave can free himself, paying a price to his master, which cannot be refused, it is very natural that the idea of seeing the move to the free class all the time, this constrains treating them with the superiority which ordinarily exists between master and slave. 8 Poor whites made up the bulk of the small non-colored populations.9 In the twenty years since the Revolution, Santo Domingo had been further impoverished by warfare and cut off by emigration. But more importantly, racial identity in Santo Domingo created the idea that a person who was considered a free colored was not black enough to be taken for a Haitian. These mulattoes and light skinned creoles from Santo Domingo had achieved a social ranking and meaning quite close to that of their white counterparts, though they were not in all respects equal. As time passed throughout the nineteenth century, the term blanco de la tierra (whites of the land) came into use by the nineteenth century, signaling a free colored ideologically identifying himself or herself with whites10

See Moreau de Saint-Mry (1797). He alluded to this throughout his narrative about Santo Domingo. Other nineteenth century writers such as Walton, Mackenzie, and Franklin discuss to some degree the racial structure in Santo Domingo and its distinction to their western neighbors. For more of an explanation on race and identity in colonial Santo Domingo see Chapter 1.
10 9

The phrase blancos de la tierra was added onto to color in Santo Domingo 165

(see Chapter 6 for further explanation). This view of racial identity in Santo Domingo is very similar as it was in other areas of the Caribbean. The mulatto in Santo Domingo had not the faintest desire to be considered black.11 This may have been an explanation as to why slave revolts and conspiracies of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries met with no general support among the population as a whole.12 Another reason as to why there was no general support among the black population was because of the small percentage of those who were actually enslaved.13 Going back to the late than in Saint Domingue. Meaning that no imagined community of free people of African descent identified as mulattos or mixed appears to have developed in Santo Domingo has it did in the neighboring French colony. Moreover, in Saint Domingue, free people of color controlled a substantial portion of the colonys slaves (roughly around 30 percent). Several travel narratives during this time period made note that the residents in Santo Domingo had classified themselves as blancos de la tierra and they made it a point to assert that they were quite different from those blacks that resided in Haiti. See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti (1830), 215. In Santo Domingo, there were many indications that mulattoes did not want be considered black. In his account Idea del Valor, Snchez Valverdes central argument is that the racial difference between the inhabitants in Santo Domingo versus Saint Domingue is quite different. In this account, he specifically reports to the Crown that in the southern region of Santo Domingo, there should be a great increase in cane plantings, and increase of 400 or 500 in the number of sugar mills, and increased plantings of coffee, cotton, and indigo, with the labor to be provided by a sufficient number of enslaved Africans. He furthermore argued that this distinction was one of the main reasons as to why Saint Domingue was prosperous in comparison to the Santo Domingo. See Chapter 1. Since the outbreak of the Saint Domingue Revolution, numerous revolts and conspiracies occurred throughout the circum-Caribbean region. However, in Santo Domingo there are only two reported cases where this occurred during the Revolution (See Chapter 3). This is not to say that slave rebellions in Santo Domingo did not occur in great number nor does it speak to the fact that they did not received no large general support. However, it can be argued that the main characteristic of these revolts that we know of was that they did not occur in great numbers as they did in other parts of the region. See Moya Pons, Manual de Historia Dominicana; also see Geggus and Gaspar, A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean. Snchez Valverde reports that from the perspective of those residents in Haiti, the Santo Domingo was always seen as a desirable refuge for runaway slaves, and they 166
13 12 11

eighteenth century, Santo Domingos enslaved African population in comparison to that of Saint Domingue was distinct. As Carlos Larrazabal Blanco states relations between masters and slaves which obtained solely from hierarchy plain human relations, and social relations were different in Spanish Santo Domingo than in French in Saint Domingue.14 But more importantly, enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo were scarcer and labor demands in the cattle-grazing economy were of a more extensive type, it was to the masters advantage to keep their enslaved Africans alive as long as possible. In French Saint Domingue, this was the opposite where the enslaved Africans where said to live a shorter life and often times looked to migrate to the Spanish of the island whenever possible. Furthermore, the enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue where said to be more abundant and cheaper on the French side and masters where more likely to exploit them intensely. With Spanish colonization, Santo Domingo was restored to the original Spanish colonial structure in place before the signing of the Treaty of Basel in 1795. However, for the next twelve years, Spain brought no relief to the eastern colonys depressed economy. It was reported that some 80,000 impoverished vecinos depended on a wrecked agriculture, disorganized husbandry, and greatly diminished exports of hides,

were rarely repatriated, manumissions were more liberally practiced under the Spanish colonial policy, and the life of self-sufficient cattle herding was far less laborious than the backbreaking pain of cutting cane. Therefore by the 1770s and probably up to the late eighteenth century, these runaway maroons from Haiti constituted the majority of these residents along the frontier towns of Santo Domingo. Furthermore, as William Walton reports, these maroons that resided in frontier towns and were never accounted for in the census of the population in the early nineteenth century. See Walton (1810), 132. Blanco, Los Negros y la Esclavitud en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo: Julio d. Postigo e Hijos, 1975). 167

tobacco, coffee, and cacao.15 The population continued to diminish, sinking Santo Domingo into stagnation where there were only 9,000 whites, 18,000 blacks, and 45,000 free blacks and mulattoes.16 Considering the amount of capital needed for reconstruction that fled with the refugee families it appeared that the inhabitants in Santo Domingo had won the war but lost the peace for the colony. If the overall poverty throughout Santo Domingo did not level out class and race distinctions, it made life harder for everybody. During the Espaa Boba period, sugar cultivation completely ended in the southern region and the cattle ranches sank to the level of a bare minimum along the frontier.17 Nevertheless, subsistence agriculture and tobacco production remained profitable without the Cibao region that was heavily prosperous with cattle ranching prior to 1809. There was no substantial amount of wealth, no luxuries, no industry; nothing that makes for a rich cultural life apart from the traditional activities of the occasional religious activity or fiesta that took place such as cockfighting and dancing the bolero, fandango, and calenda.18

15 16

See Franklin, Present State of Hayti.

AGI, Indiferente General, leg. 1534. These records indicate that in 1815, local officials were obliged to defend to the Crown their practice in entering all individuals in the same book without regard to race or color. Therefore, this population that consisted in the colonial period at the end of the eighteenth century would be the formation of the majority of the free peasantry throughout the nineteenth century. Also see Saez, La Iglesia y El Negro Esclavo en Santo Domingo, 561. Mackenzie reports that the town of Cotuy (today spelled Cotui) there were several herds of cattle that still roamed the region. As for agricultural production, he notes that the region was rich in land and that there were plantains and other tropical staples that are cultivated. See, Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti (1830), vol. 1, 241. According to Walton in his travel account the activities that were practiced among the remaining Spanish residents were cockfights, which were held every Sunday. The national dances of the island were also common among the population. There were three main dances that were said to have been common among the residents. The first 168
18 17

The situation worsened in Santo Domingo when numerous rumors regarding conspiracies were spreading from the French and Spanish residents to the remaining enslaved Africans who resided in the colony.19 For example, in 1811, four French agents had attempted a coup to restore the colony to French rule. The agents were eventually captured and killed.20 Moreover, when Carlos Urruta, the peninsular governor appointed by the Junta de Gobierno in Spain, arrived in Santo Domingo in May 1813, he decided to replace the paper money with copper coins. His reasoning for this adjustment was because the army, which comprised the majority of the male population at the time, requested their salaries in metal. This was not easy to employ in Santo Domingo because most of the landowners and cattle ranchers who had been collecting most of the currency in circulation refused to accept the new change. Moreover, Urruta tried to apply a new economic program based on agriculture by promoting food farms in and around Santo Domingo. This new programs purpose was mainly to feed the citys residents. Because dance was the bolero, which was said to be from the Canary islands and introduced to Cuban society by the nineteenth century. It eventually spread throughout the region. It is said to have been practiced among the urban middle class and was very popular throughout the nineteenth century. The second dance was the calenda, a lascivious, sexual dance popular through-out the Caribbean region in colonial times. The dance was brought to the area by captive Guineas. Blacks reputedly use to dance the calenda for days at a time. The third and final dance was the fandango, which was reported to have been popular all over the Latin American and Caribbean region. It is a dance with much shaking of hips to a sensual rhythm. It was reported that it was rejected as immoral by a bishop in Puerto Rico as early as 1691. In Chile, it was popular in the eighteenth century and there is also it was condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities as an infamous dance cultivated in the low classes. See Walton (1810), 160-161. See Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 116; Also see Franco Pichardo, Historia del Pueblo Dominicano (Cuarta Edicion, 2005). See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti; See Deive, La Esclavitud en Santo Domingo, vol. 11, 475.
20 19


the local agriculture in Santo Domingo was never intended for export, whatever crop was being produced Urruta really thought it would and should satisfy the citys demand for food. In fact, the only region in the Spanish colony where land was cultivated for export, at the time, was the tobacco region of Cibao. Hence, by the end of Spains second colonial rule, Santo Domingo was again in a situation where the colony never developed long-lasting commercial agricultural production.21 Furthermore, during Urrutas five year period (1813-1818) as governor, Spain was unable to send settlers to Santo Domingo. Urruta was replaced in 1818 by Sebastian Kindeln who arrived in Santo Domingo and found that the impoverished public treasury only collected duties at the customs houses in the northern city of Puerto Plata and the southern city of Santo Domingo. These revenues were barely enough to cover half of the governments expenditures. Therefore, there was very little of what Kindeln could do to solve this financial problem. He directed his efforts to obtain aid from Havana and Madrid, and tried to cope with the monetary crisis by re-introducing paper money. However, by July of 1821, he faced even more pressure from the colonial officials and the military residing in Santo Domingo. Furthermore, the situation became more complicated as a result to the independence movements that were sweeping through the South American mainland. At the center of these movements was Simn Bolvar who had visited Haiti.22 His spreading Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 118. This could also be said for Santo Domingos economy prior to the Saint Domingue Revolution and after Toussaints administration rule over the colony. See Chapters 1 and 4. Simn Bolvar was born in 1783 in Caracas, Venezuela and in 1830 died at the age of the 47. His family was very wealthy and immensely landed. As a child, Bolivar spent considerable time on the familys slave-worked cocoa plantations. He was an orphan at the age of five and as a result he grew up under the tutelage of several relatives, 170
22 21

of ideas had reached far into the Caribbean waters and entered into the Spanish Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. Due to this movement, Spain quickly ordered the military in Santo Domingo to mobilize. This further drained the additional funds. The order was given at a time were there was not even enough money to pay the regular salary of the soldiers who resided in the Spanish colony. Meanwhile, the Haitian government became anxious and fearful when it received news about a forthcoming French invasion. These reports were alarming for several reasons. The first was because the French had already made two attempts to regain Haiti, once in 1814 and the second attempt in 1816.23 This anxiety increased further in 1820 when Haitian President Boyer was informed that the French ships had arrived in Martinique for the sole purpose of invading Santo Domingo and once again using it as a base for the re-conquest of Haiti. Both governments in Haiti and in France knew that the garrison in Santo Domingo did not have sufficient forces to resist a foreign attack. Furthermore, the neutrality of the Spanish colony was always a consistent suspicion in back of Boyers mind.24 Boyer always thought that the Spanish government would give official support to French attempts to recover its lost colony.25

and spent most of his days playing with the servants. He was an educated man. Bolivar was also trained in fencing, horseback riding, music, and dance.
23 24

See Brown, The History and Present Condition of St. Domingo (1837), 217.

It must be assumed that this thinking dates back to the Saint Domingue Revolution. I say this because during the Haitian Revolution, reports had indicated that the Spanish residents in Santo Domingo were providing funds to the former enslaved Africans that were fighting in Spains army as auxiliary soldiers. See Chapter 3. Part of this thinking probably stems from the openness of the inhabitants of Santo Domingo towards the French from 1803-1809. In fact, the inhabitants of Santo Domingo in the beginning were very much open to Ferrands modernize policies towards their colony. See Chapter 4 for more detail. 171

There was some consolation along the frontier region in Santo Domingo where the residents found support from the Haitian state. In fact, it was known that since Christophes regime, there was an interest in regaining control over the Spanish frontier region. In fact, on several occasions Christophe had invited the Spanish residents in this region to join his kingdom.26 However, overall discontent among the residents, specifically the cattle ranchers, outweighed this unification among the population. Weary of Spains continued neglect after 1809, pro-Haitian inhabitants in Santo Domingo rose up in 1812, against the colonizers in the name of Haitian sovereignty.27 However, the insurrection was quickly suppressed. Meanwhile, Govenor Kindeln discovered that some of his armies in the southern cities of Azua and Santo Domingo had already become part of this secret plan for unification with Haiti. Moreover, he discovered that Boyers propaganda had already spread fear among the free colored population of being enslaved by the French.28 A letter written by Boyer was intercepted and published in the June 24, 1821 issue of El Duende,29 confirming Kindelns suspicions that the Haitian president was using the

26 27 28

See Franklin, The Present State of Hayti, 299. Ibid., 299.

An article that was published in the Louisiana Advertiser had headline that Another Revolution was occurring in the former French colony known as Saint Domingue. This article specifically states when Boyer took control of Haiti and his agenda towards the country and possibly the Spanish side of the island. See From Niles Register: Another Revolution Louisiana Advertiser, 1820 December 11. vol. 1 no. 140. The newspaper was one of the first newspapers established in Santo Domingo, along with El Telegrifico and El Dominicano, in the nineteenth century. El Duende was written and edited by Jose Nuez de Caceres. The small four page newspaper only lasted for a couple of months. The paper featured literary pieces and poems and it was circulated among the intellectuals who remained in Santo Domingo during this time 172

pretext of a French invasion to intimidate Santo Domingos colored population, although some mulattos who lived along the border had already favored unification with Haiti for mainly economic reasons. According to the letter published in El Duende, Boyer asserted that he had received a letter of invitation to unify Santo Domingo with Haiti. He writes, I have received the letter that is addressed to me. With an invitation from the government, by his Excellency the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, who expressed to me like a Governor with great satisfaction that it would bring him pleasure for me to arrive.30 For Santo Domingo, Haiti was the natural market for their products; therefore, it was feared by several of the inhabitants that any type of disruption from another foreign government would reinforce the efforts of the enslaved Africans and free coloreds to bring about an end to slavery along with racial discrimination. In fact, Governor Kindeln reported that Jose Leocadio, Pedro de Seda, Pedro Henrquez, and several other free men and slaves, seduced by evil men, or hallucinated by the same false ideas of liberty, dared to disturb the public peace.31 Moreover, between 1812 and 1820 numerous proclamations, laws, and pamphlets had circulated throughout Santo Domingo regarding

30 31

AGN, El Duende, 24 Julio 1821.

AGN, Archivo Real de Monte Plata, Orden de conducencia contral el esclavo Jose Leocadio, lider del levantamiento de Monte Plata. Santo Domingo, 17 agosto 1812. As noted by Eric Williams, certain essential factors contributed to the abolition of the slave trade and eventually enslavement in the Caribbean colonies which are the economical factors, the political factors, the humanitarian agitation, the international and inter-colonial rivalry and the social factors. See Williams, From Columbus to Castro, 280.


the treatment of enslaved Africans, calling for the end of the slave trade, and the discrimination policies towards the enslaved and free coloreds.32 However, what inspired the individuals to revolt was the liberal constitution. Furthermore, because the constitution did not imply freedom for enslaved Africans who resided in Santo Domingo instead it voiced for greater concern for all the residents in the colony. It is important to understand that enslaved Africans were not declared Spaniards nor citizens by the governor, until they received a charter from the Spanish Cortes indicating they were. The rebellions, such as the one in 1812, had been smothered in blood, but the question is whether the Spanish crown was able to do anything about it? Furthermore, even after the rebellions and various conspiracies ended, many enslaved Africans were restless and there were more conspiracies against the Spanish government in Santo Domingo.33 Besides the pro-Haitian party along the frontier region, there were other groups that were interested in ending the Spanish rule in Santo Domingo. In 1819, a letter written and printed in Caracas, Venezuela, was addressed to those individuals, and circulated throughout the colony. This letter called on the inhabitants in Santo Domingo to rebel against Spain and join the revolutionary cause taking place on the South

AGN, Archivo Real de Monte Plata, Orden de conducencia contra el esclavo Jose Leocadio, lider del levantamiento de Monte Plata. Santo Domingo, 17 agosto 1812; AGN, Archivo Real de Bayaguana, Dispoiciones acerca de los negros en el Bando de Buen Gobierno de D. Carlos Urrutia Montoya. Santo Domingo, 30 diciembre 1814; Alejandro del Cantillo, Tratados, Convenios y Declaracines de Paz y de Comercio. Declaracin del Congreso de Viena para la abolicin total del comercio de negros. Viena, 8 febrero 1815. See Deive, La esclavitud en Santo Domingo, vol. 2, 479; Also see Jose Gabriel Garcia, Historia de Santo Domingo (Ed. Ahora. Santo Domingo, 4a. ed.), 39.



American mainland.34 The Venezuelan contacts, as well as the news, that was arriving from Mexico and other parts of South America, made several high ranking military officers, bureaucrats, and merchants to consider the Hispanic American emancipation movements as examples to follow.35 In May of 1821, Kindeln was replaced by Pascual Real as the new governor of Santo Domingo. Despite the information he received from Kindeln and the governments confidants, the new governor lost track of the conspiracy to oust Spanish rule. Knowing that he could not count on the loyalty of his troops, Real decided not to confront the suspects directly but to watch them closely. Yet, the colonial government had lost most of its popular support and the conspirators had increased in number under the secret leadership of Jos Nuez de Craces, who was then the lieutenant governor of Santo Domingo. Nuez de Craces represented the dissatisfied military officers and bureaucrats who had already decided to proclaim the independence of Santo Domingo and seek confederation with Gran Colombia under Bolvars leadership.36 An attorney, lieutenant-governor, and priest of the university in Santo Domingo, Nuez de Cceres was very much caught up in the movement of liberation that was taking place in South America. He established and edited one of the first newspapers circulated in Santo Domingo called El Duende..37 However, residents in Santo Domingo where beginning to turn elsewhere to seek their independence.

34 35 36 37

AGN, El Duende, 15 de Abril 1821. AGN, El Duende, 15 de Abril 1821. Lpervanche Parparcn, Nuez de Cceres y Bolvar.

El Duende was a small pamphlet about four pages long. The small newspaper only lasted for a couple of months during Nuez de Cceres administration in Santo 175

Having but a fifth of Haitis population, with its fewer than 50,000 whites and 50,000 mulattoes, Santo Domingo was very different. Moreover, there is no question that Haitians and the inhabitants of Santo Domingo still had reasons to distrust each other, yet on the other hand, they had reasons to rush to one anothers assistance.38 On November 30, 1821, a group of revolutionaries sought aid from the Haitians for the cause of independence. Moreover, Nuez de Cceres conspired with other urban creoles in Santo Domingo, to operate without contacting the cattle ranchers of the interior; he also did not bother to consult with the marginalized masses of free coloreds. His reasoning was that many of those inhabitants that resided near the frontier region were also cattle ranchers who were pro-Haitian collaborators. Furthermore, Nuez de Cceres was to some degree opposed to Haiti, he did not want to have any kind of relationship with this region. He believed that Santo Domingo was already a nation with respectable citizens.39 Interestingly, Nuez de Cceress position on the slavery question was very clear and coincided with that of Kindeln, namely that he did not want to end the practice and the labor force that was provided to his fellow compatriots. The freedom, which he gave to his own enslaved Africans was perhaps a political device to attract support from those who were formerly enslaved and who fought in the military. 40 However, he had to maintain some relations with his

Domingo. All of the issues of the newspaper are located in the AGN in Santo Domingo. What I am referring to is that both sides of the island feared a possible attack from outsiders but yet at the same time feared a possible attack between each other.
39 40 38

AGN, El Duende, 29 de Abril de 1821.

AGI, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Gobiernos politicos, 78-5-21 De la Proclama del Governador Sebastin Kindeln, aclarando que la libertad consagrada por la 176

western neighbors because he knew that they had followers in Santo Domingo. One individual who was very much in support of Santo Domingos independence along with Haitian Unification was Colonel Pablo Ali, head of the Batalln de Morenos. Ali was dark skinned and of Haitian descent and by the mid-nineteenth century, the Batalln de Morenos had become a very dangerous and fearful group in Santo Domingo because it highlighted the social differences caused by color in the colony.41 Ali already felt alienated by the refusal of being part of the Spanish administration to grant him a Letter of Citizenship in 1821. That refusal, along with the Haitian promise to emancipate the enslaved Africans, drew Ali into the group of Spanish insurgents led by Don Manuel Carbaja and D.N. Vasquez under Nuez de Cceres movement to liberate Santo Domingo from Spanish rule.42 At the same time, it was unclear to Boyer whether or not Haiti could come to the aid of those residents in Santo Domingo who struggled to separate the colony from Spain and gain independence. Meanwhile, Nuez de Cceres made his move. The brief independence for Santo Domingo was a result of a movement for autonomy organized by a small governmental sector disappointed with Spains neglect of their colony. According to the 1821 Declaratoria del pueblo Dominicano: Constitucin no altera en nada la condicin de los esclavos. Santo Dominog, 10 junio 1820. Pablo Al was originally an enslaved African from Saint Domingue who was enlisted in the Spanish black auxiliary army during the Saint Domingue Revolution. He participated in the War of Re-conquest, in which French troops were defeated and Santo Domingo was colonized by Spain for the second time. In 1811 the Spanish crown named him first colonel and granted him a gold medal in recognition of his service to the Crown. In 1820, Al served as colonel of the Batalln de Morenos (Black Battalion) in Santo Domingo. See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, vol. 1 (1830), 285.
42 41

See Madiou, Historie dHati vol. 6 (Port-au-Prince, 1847-1848).


The 328 years of being disciples and servants to the Crown and of being loyal to the Kings of Spain have produced only disappointment for everyone, and have proven to be costly and unfruitful to the development of the island. With this false idol, sparked off by error, and sustained by political superstition, the spirit became drowsy, and fun was made of the credulity of a naturally simple and kind people. Being loyal to Spain, bearing with subdued patience Spains contempt, not living, not moving, not belonging to us, but Spain, was everything and the only thing on which we built our happiness, the fame of our virtues, and the recompense of the most distinguished services.43 In this Declaratoria issued to the residents of Santo Domingo, Nuez de Cceres is calling for all to unite as one. He asserts that all in Santo Domingo need to come together to break away from Spain because they have done nothing for their colony but brought about disappointment. Furthermore, he confirms that the Spanish Crown are oppressors to the colony and that there is no need for their rule anymore. He continues by stating: Santo Domingo, on the contrary, in the midst of its decadence it is surviving from its own resources and would still have much more relief if it would have established its administrative system on the economic principles prescribed by its exhausted population, its agriculture and commerce; but it had to wash its hands of all good rule, to tend to the burdens that its ungrateful and unknown Metropolis has been piling up on it, as reward and to relieve the ills that overwhelm us since the ruinous blow of the cession. If the tariffs law and customs regulations had not been suspended and tempered to local circumstances, by now all the ports of the Island would have been closed once and forever, because when Spanish liberty is most pondered, it is exactly when it has sought to bolt down with more vigor the chains of monopoly and the exclusivity of commerce.44 Nuez de Cceres believed and reinforced to the inhabitants of Santo Domingo that they no longer needed the assistance from Spain. He argued that under his new government, the colony would thrive because of the riches in agriculture and commerce

A complete copy of this Declaration of Independence is available at the JCB, Jos Nuez de Cceres, Declaratoria de Independencia del Pueblo Dominicano (1821). JCB, Nuez de Cceres, Declaratoria de Independencia del Pueblo Dominicano (1821).



the island has to offer. He further states that the colony could have been prosperous a long time ago if the tariffs, laws, and customs regulations had not been suspended; an act on which he blames the Spanish monarchy. However, in order to secure its nations independence, Nuez de Cceres had sought to capture the newly formed Santo Domingo to Bolivars federation of Gran Colombia. The news of this momentous event traveled quickly throughout Santo Domingo where Nuez de Cceres and his army took the fortress of Santo Domingo. From there they occupied the storehouse and other military posts, and on the morning of December 1, 1821, Nuez de Cceres proclaimed and announced the independence of Spanish Hayti. This newly found Republic would soon join the forces as part of the Gran Colombia movement led by Bolivar. Just as the installations of the new government were being carried out. Three high-ranking Haitian officials sent by Boyer arrived in Santo Domingo with instructions to inform the Spanish authorities about the political situation at the border. Finding the Spanish colonial government already overthrown, the chief of the Haitian mission contacted Nuez de Cceres and led him to believe that Boyer would support the new government. According to one report in El Duende: The revolution occurring in Santo Domingo is an event of major importance for us, and can have sensible results for ours possessions of the Antilles. All of the old French part of Santo Domingo [Haiti] is already reunited under a same government and army of troops under Boyer, who is very respectable, and a reinforcement of 20 men.45


AGN, El Duende, 15 Abril 1821. 179

But Boyer had other plans. Santo Domingo was more weakened than before and could be more easily taken by the expected French invasion. Boyer wrote in his addresses to the people of Santo Domingo: HaitiansThe national flag flies over all points of the Island we inhabit! On this soil of liberty there are no more slaves, and we are but one family, whose members are united among themselves forever by a unanimous will which stems from the concordance of the same interests; and thereby articles 40 and 41 of our Constitution are fully implemented.46 The fact that Boyer states Haitians signifies that he already acknowledges that the citizens of Santo Domingo were a part of his nation. Moreover, he promises to abolish slavery in the eastern region and that Santo Domingo and Haiti were united as one. By January 11, 1822 Boyer had made all the necessary preparations and on that day he wrote a letter to Nuez de Cceres stating that it was impossible for the island of Hispaniola to maintain two separate independent governments.47 Boyer further emphasized that the struggles, which Haiti country had gone through over the past 18 years were as a result of the Haitian Revolution. Hence the only solution to resolve the problems on both sides of the island was to integrate and preserve independence, as a whole. Moreover, Boyer made it quite clear that he had no intention of recognizing Santo Domingos independence and regarded the proclamation of November 30, 1821 as invalid and in violation of the fundamental laws of the Haitian state, meaning that both the western and eastern sides of the island were one and

46 47

Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, Vol. 2, 241-242. AGN, Nuez de Cceres, El Duende, 15 Abril 1821.


indivisible.48 In a letter to the General of Santo Domingo on January 24, 1822, Boyer noted: I have a high esteem for all those who were instrumental in preventing the effusion of blood; but at the same time I deplore with error which had led to the organization of a Government separated from that which has been established by the fundamental laws of the state, and declaring your intention of becoming part of the Republic of ColombiaAlways disposed to be indulgent, and to judge others by the pureness of my principles, I thought that those who directed the change which took place on the 1st December 1821, might have been mistaken in the choice of their means, and might have been governed by circumstances of which I am ignorant.49 Nuez de Cceres was outraged by this reaction from Boyer. However, he knew that either way he could not win. He was very much aware that the population consisted mostly of mulattoes and blacks and that many were probably in favor of unifying with Haiti. For those mulattoes and enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo the Haitian government had promised lands, the abolition of taxes, and the liberation of the enslaved Africans. Nuez de Cceres knew that he could not offer any defense against enemies to his colony.50 Animated by the concern of a French invasion and motivated by modest imperialist aspirations, in 1821 Boyer made alliance with a group of Spanish inhabitants

JCB, Constitution de la colonie franaise de Saint-Domingue (Le Cape, 1801); Also see LOC, Law Library, British and Foreign State Papers (British Records Office 1821-1822), 960-62. AGN, Carta de Jean-Pierre Boyer al Can. Juan A Pichardo sobre su misin en Hait. El Duende, ao I, no. 10. The Spanish monarchy at this point was too weak and no other country offered assistance at this point.
50 49



from Santo Domingo and immediately planned to overtake Nuez de Ccaces colonial government.51 On the eve of Santo Domingos unification with Haiti, this small group that consisted of politicians and military officials, who had once been under the Nuez de Cceres movement, actually began arguing in favor of a union with Boyers Haiti.52 In fact, the Spanish residents envisioned and strongly asserted that they would benefit from unification with Haiti. According to one contemporary account, It is generally suspected, that some persons have favored this movement, either by aiding the troops of the President, or by giving them to understand, that the Independent flag had been substituted in lieu of the ancient Spanish flag.53 Residents of Santo Domingo saw the Republic of Haiti as a progressive nation and in comparison to their already weak state, many saw the prospects that Haiti could bring to their colony versus that of Gran Colombia.54 Also support for Haiti was among those inhabitants who resided along the bordering towns of Santo Domingo. In fact, it was noted that many residents in this region had raised the Haitian flag and were in full

There were rumors circulating back to the capital of Santo Domingo that a good number of residents who had resided along the border region between Haiti and Santo Domingo were in favor of unity with the Republic of Haiti. Several newspaper accounts reveal that some of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo were very much in favor with Boyers unification project.
53 54 52


Translated for the Charleston Courier. Baltimore Patriot, 1822, April 20.

Some elites felt that union with Haiti would be progressive would lead to economic development in the east. To the Spanish progressive meant that one has a working economy and military force. Translated for the Charleston Courier. Baltimore Patriot, 1822, April 20.


support of Boyer.55 According to a newspaper account, the squadron anchored in the Bay, on the night of the 19th February. At that time, the Haitian flag was displayed in Savana la Mar.56 The admiral informed that, it was not in his power to give them any assistance, while furthermore, it was rumored that Boyer even campaigned for unification in the provinces of Puerto Plata, Cotui, Santiago, La Vega, Neiba, Macoris, San Juan, and Azua.57 Even in the Saman region, it was noted that though the inhabitants were divided in opinion they did not feel themselves strong enough to oppose them.58 An unprotected, unsupported Santo Domingo, provided the opportunity that Boyer awaited to reunite the island under one flag and nation. Moreover, Boyer never acknowledged the independence put forth by Nuez de Cceres in Santo Domingo. As one contemporary account reports, all I know is that the President Boyer notified to the Various cities that were in support of the Boyer regime contained residents who resided in mostly agricultural areas throughout Santo Domingo such as Montecristi and Santiago. They saw agricultural prospects and development if unified with Haiti. Part of this view might have been caused by the past and present trade that had took placed between Santo Domingo and Haiti since the colonial period especially in these two regions since they were in close proximity to the border. Madiou reports that one of the most distinguished individuals who had resided in Santo Domingo by the name of Jose Justo de Sylva had expressed his desire to unify with Haiti. See Madiou, Histoire dHaiti, vol. 6, 163.
56 57 55

Translated for the Charleston Courier. Baltimore Patriot, 1822, April 20.

A year before Boyer unified the colony the main exports were still tobacco and mahogany, and in the southern region of the colony cattle ranching made a slow comeback after its destruction in the late eighteenth century. However, these exports were not enough to pay for imports or to even to maintain a military army. Spain was stranded by European conflicts and the wars for independence in the Americas. Therefore, the crown was not capable of helping to reinvigorate the economy and social life, which were some of the main reasons for some to favor unification with Haiti. Moreover, there were rumors circulating along the frontier region that free coloreds could be re-enslaved by the French. See Franklin, The Present State of Hayti (1828), 237-238.

Translated for the Charleston Courier, Baltimore Patriot, 1822 April 20.


inhabitants, that he would not acknowledge, in any manner, this new standard, and that although they might be pleased with the change they out rather to prefer his flag to any other.59 Boyer knew that his army, which consisted at the time of about 6,000 troops could attack Santo Domingo without any real bloodshed. In fact, he had troops located about 16 miles outside, region of Saman, which is located on the eastern end of Santo Domingo.60 Furthermore, he took immediate action with the news that a group of French adventurers were organizing in Martinique, to invade Haiti and recover the plantations that whites had lost twenty years earlier. The plan was to attack and occupy Santo Domingo and then ask the French to send troops in order for them to attack Haiti.61 The Haitian government made it known that if the Spanish speaking residents did not join Haiti willingly, it might use force to unify the island. Boyer wrote: A farming and warring people, the Haitians will only occupy themselves with the interests of the homeland; they will not use their arms except to defend their national independence, if the injustice of an attack against it should occur; always generous, always compassionate, they will continue to act in good faith with the foreigners who living among them respect the countrys laws.62 The Haitian government never lost sight of its objective to unify the entire island under one government. For it, this would facilitate defense against an eventual foreign attack. Boyers interest in acquiring the eastern part of the island was also directly related to internal problems. The fall of Christophe, in October 1820, had left Haiti with a great

59 60 61

Translated for the Charleston Courier, Baltimore Patriot, 1822 April 20. Translated for the Charleston Courier, Baltimore Patriot, 1822 April 20.

Frank Moya Pons, Haiti and Santo Domingo, (ed.) Leslie Bethell, The Cambridge History of Latin America, Volume III, From Independence to c. 1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 253

See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, Vol. 2, 241-242. 184

number of unemployed and disgruntled military officers who formed a constant threat to the government. By taking control of Santo Domingo, Boyer would both secure the national borders and consolidate his regime by dispersing the excess officers into new lands.63 On November 15, 1821, at the same time Nuez de Cceres proclaimed independence from Spanish rule, several pro-Haitian party proclaimed its independence from Spain in the border towns of Dajabn and Monte Cristi. The leaders of the movement wrote to the commander at Cap Haitien announcing their decision to place themselves under the protection of Haitian laws; they requested munitions and weapons to defend themselves.64 Two independence movements were occurring in Santo Domingo at the same time. The first was for Haitian Unification and the second was sole independence for Santo Domingo. Boyer knew that the Spanish residents were divided into several groups in regards to their support for their colony. The first group was made up of individuals who were Spanish loyalists. The second consisted of those who were pro-independent and who wanted to join Bolivars movement. The third group was in favor of unification with Haiti and in fact had been followers of Christophe during the French and Spanish occupations.65 This party was his guarantee of success, but he had to be aware of the other two groups since unification was going to affect their interests. This unification Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, Vol. 2, 241-242; PRO. Hayti Foreign and Domestic Various Documents 1825-1826; PRO FO 35/ 4.
64 65 63

See Franklin, The Present State of Haiti (1928), 237; Madiou, Histoire dHaiti.

Followers such as Jose Tavares was said to have favored Haitian Unification since Christophes rule in Northern Haiti. Also see Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti (1830), Franklin, The Present State of Haiti (1828). 185

would consist of the abolition of slavery and the institution of a new land-tenure system based on French and Haitian practices, as well as the social and juridical equality of whites, mulattos, and blacks. Because Boyer was aware that he was going to uproot centuries of old tradition, he knew that he had to use military force against the colonial elite. Following the example of Toussaint and Dessalines, he divided his army into two columns, and on January 28, 1822 set out for Santo Domingo. On February 8, 1822 he reached the citys outskirts, where the two columns united. On that day, Nuez de Cceres without resources and without unity among the residents in Santo Domingo had no choice but to hand over power to Boyer. There was minimal resistance from the small elite population but it was no match for the military army of Boyer. Post-revolutionary Haitians had the challenge to convince the international community of the advantages of their ideals. Their greatest achievement had not only been on the military field, but also in the world of ideas. It is quite clear that these revolutionary ideas transferred over to the inhabitants of Santo Domingo. The Espaa Boba period clearly was unsatisfactory for many of the residents. Because of Spains lack of funds and interest in the colony, it led to frustration among the residents and the opportunity for another movement for independence to take place in Santo Domingo. This brief independence was achieved in 1821, however it was it provided in the end to be unsuccessful among the remaining residents in Santo Domingo who had expressed in great interest in joining forces with Haiti. By the mid-nineteenth century, Santo Domingo once again provided another opening for Haitian rule over their colony.


CHAPTER 6 OCCUPATION BY INVITATION? BOYERS ATTEMPT AT UNIFICATION, 1822-1844 May God bless Pap Boyer Who gave us freedom Our liberty.1 Throughout the historiography on the Dominican Republic writers have long suggested how the Haitian Unification period (or what is commonly referred to as the Haitian Invasion or Occupation) is an explanation for the origins of anti-Haitianism. As stated in the introduction of this dissertation, nationalist Dominican historians have traditionally represented the unification of Haiti and Santo Domingo as an act of aggression or domination conducted by Haitians.2 These books seemed to have forgotten that Spain ceded Santo Domingo to the French in 1795 by the Treaty of Basel and that the island had been administratively unified in 1801 under the leadership of Toussaint. But more importantly, Dominican nationalist historical accounts have a tendency to represent these events preceding the Unification of 1822 as an invasion act. This myth is even further strengthened when other students and non-students perpetuate this story of Haiti and the Dominican Republic as these, using Michelle

Cited in Emilio Rodrquez Demorizi, Poesa popular dominicana Vol. 1 (Ciudad Trujillo: Editoria La Nacin, 1938) 52-53. The poem was recited to Demorizi by two elder Dominicans, Mercedita del Monte and Arturo Alardo. Balaguer, La Isla Al Rves; Pea-Batlle, Orgenes del Estado Haitiano (Ciudad Trujillo, Editora Montalvo, 1954); Manuel de Jess Troncoso de la Concha, La Ocupacin de Santo Domingo por Hait (Ciudad Trujillo, Editora La Nacin, 1942); Marte, Estadsticas y Documentos Histricos Sobre Santo Domingo (1805-1890) (Santo Domingo, Museo Nacional de Historia y Geografa, 1984).


Wuckers metaphor, two fighting cocks, locked in an all out struggle for control.3 The idea that the issue or conflict between the two countries began with Haitis early nineteenth century attempts at political, economic, and cultural domination over the entire island has been circulated widely among several sectors of todays Dominican population. For example, on their way to the city of Santo Domingo from the International Airport, Las Americas, the video crew of Mirrors of the Heart, which was a part of the 1993 Americas PBS documentary series, filmed its cab driver explaining the real reason as to why there is this existence of anti-black prejudice among Dominicans. In the film, the cab driver states that: We deny that we are mulatto. Blacks are marginalized and are treated badly in this country. There is a complete denial of blackness in this country. All this hatred of black people began in 1822, when the Haitians invaded the Dominican Republic. They wanted to take over the country. This hatred started to grow in our national consciousness, because they wanted to trample us.4 Likewise, Larman Wilson has argued that Dominican and Haitian foreign policy attributes importance to the violent history surrounding Hispaniola that shaped the attitudes of race between Dominicans and Haitians. Haiti obtained its independence from

I am referring here to the literature on Dominican-Haitian relations produced in the late twentieth century. Specifically, I am talking about books such as Michelle Wucker, Why the Cocks Fight, Sagas, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic, and David Howard, Coloring the Nation that give extensive scrutiny to Dominican-Haitian relations but are at the same time one sided in identifying their interests as lying not in Dominican views of Haiti generally but in anti-Haitian ideology alone. These scholars do not provide a comprehensive study of the past in order to explain the current issues that are affecting the relationship between to the two countries today. I am not criticizing their works by saying that they are not correct in some issues that they address, nor am I taking away from there research. I am just merely stating that there needs to be a stronger emphasis on the historical relationship in order to talk about the current prevalent issues. Americas, part 4-Mirrors of the Heart: Race and Identity. (Videotape). Boston: WGBH and Central Television Enterprises for Channel 4, U.K.


a European power yet the Dominican Republic obtained its independence from a black republic. This twenty-two year rule over the Dominican Republic produced hatred towards blacks and a fear of Haitian creolization and mixture into the predominantly mulatto country.5 Other students of Dominican and Haitian history are even more direct in speculating that the events of the nineteenth century still have a direct influence on the feelings of Dominicans today. Roger Plant asserts that The harsh Boyer dictatorship left a legacy of deep Dominican loathing and distrust of their Haitian neighbors.6 Similar statements are voiced not just by scholars and the popular sectors but by highly placed government officials and journalists throughout the twentieth century.7 However, I believe that the origins of Dominican anti-Haitianism was a product of European colonialism and enslavement; and that events such as the Haitian Revolution and Unification reshaped or refashioned the ideas that were already embedded within the societies. The inhabitants in Spanish Santo Domingo who favored political and cultural unification with Haiti were hardly mentioned or credited by the Dominican government later on in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their works were erased from

Larman Wilson, La politica exterior de la Republica Dominicana y Haiti Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos 1 (6): 19-37. Roger Plant, Sugar and Modern Slavery: A Tale of Two Countries (Zed Books, 1987), 10. Howard French, A Dominicans 2 Burdens: Haiti and Balaguer, New York Times, April 14, 1994, Maria Elena Muoz, La Evolucion Historica de las Relaciones Dominico-Haitianas, Listn Diario, Enero 25, 1998, R.A. Font Bernard, Ellos y Nostros, Hoy, Agosto 13, 1994, Wucker, Democracy Comes to Hispaniola World Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3 (1996), 80. 189
7 6

official history. At the time of Boyers unification period, Santo Domingos population consisted of several groups. First, where the elites who were pro-Spanish who resided in the urban cities of the colony such as Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, and Saman. The second group consisted of those individuals who made up the peasantry and were mostly cattle ranchers or tobacco farmers. The final group resided along the frontier region and mostly consisted of enslaved Africans or free people of color. I believe that there was a social bond that resided along the frontier on both sides of the island, whereas the small white elites maintained their power in the urban cities Santo Domingo.8 Today Dominican nationalism is deeply rooted in anti-Haitian thinking. The story of the unification of Santo Domingo and Haiti begins on February 9th, 1822, just several weeks after the Spanish side of the island gained independence from Spain. Haiti seized the newly independent Republic under the belief that all of Hispaniola was one and indivisible.9 Therefore, one could ask the question as to how did Haitians come to unify the entire island for twenty-two years? The answer to this lies partially along the frontier region. It had been reported that some of the Eastern inhabitants had vested interests in welcoming the arrival of their Western conquerors due to the fact that prior to the Haitian Revolution, trading was taking place.10 Furthermore, those enslaved

As discussed in Chapters 1 and 3 the social and economic bond is evident among the residents that resided along the frontier region of Santo Domingo and Haiti.

See Chapters 4 and 5 for more explanation.

See Moreau de Saint-Mry, A Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo (1789). Moreau de Saint-Mry discuss the island trade both legal and illegal that was taking place. Many enslaved Africans from Saint Domingue, cattle, and meat products were traded. For more on inter-island trade see Chapter 1.



Africans and free coloreds who resided on the Spanish frontier were very much in favor of unification because they were aware that enslavement was abolished in Haiti. When slavery was abolished in Santo Domingo in 1801 and then in 1822, it became the first island in the Spanish speaking Caribbean to take this stance. Around 66 percent of the population were made up of enslaved Africans and freedmen; therefore it makes sense that many inhabitants were in favor of being incorporated into the newly founded black republic.11 After the demise of the sugar plantation in the early seventeenth century, the enslaved African population in Santo Domingo steadily declined due to various factors such as limited imports. In 1785, Snchez Valverde referred to twelve to fourteen thousand enslaved Africans out of a total population of 125,000 inhabitants. The year before the Cdigo Carolino Negro referred vaguely to fifteenth thousand blacks; this may have also included freed persons and runaway slaves. In 1788, the colonial order Pedro Catani estimated that one-sixth of the population was whites Spaniards and creoles, and the rest black and mulatto freedmen and slaves. Finally, in 1783 there was an estimated of 14,000 enslaved Africans out a population of 117,300 (about 12 percent). During the 1780s, however, the enslaved population increased substantially as a result of crown cessions for tax-free importation of Africans. Indeed, one estimate places it as high as 30,000 in 1794. Yet, several scholars on the Dominican Republic have argued differently. These unexplained differences in the number of enslaved Africans that

See Saez, La Iglesia y El Negro en Santo Domingo; Deive, La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo, 1492-1844 Vols. I-II (1980).



resided in Santo Domingo may be partly due to how they categorized slaves.12 Still, the 30,000 figure is probably substantially overestimated. Figures for the years between 1795 and 1822 are even more problematic. Estimates of the substantial number of emigrants from the Dominican Republic after 1795 vary widely and give no indication of the quantity of enslaved Africans presumably included. For example, it has been estimated that the population had dropped dramatically from 117,300 in 1783 to 103,000 in 1794 to only 68,000 in 1822. It may be that, while manumissions continued during the 1785-1822 period, enslaved Africans as well as the overall non-white population came to comprise a greater portion of the colony as a result of this large emigration and population decrease.13 In fact, in the mid-nineteenth century, a British observer stated that there were rumors that Boyer was in fact invited by several residents in the city of Santiago to invade the Spanish side of the island. He claims: While Nuez and the Francophiles conspired, Boyer watched them very closely and with the word of his spies he found out, to his great satisfaction, that among the black populations and the mulattos of the Spanish part of the island, there were individuals who desired annexation to Haiti, preferring Haiti to a badly organized Republic or a French protectorate. This disunity was maliciously aggravated by Haiti emissaries and effectively, Boyer was summoned by some of them to take possession of the eastern territory in order to annex it to Haiti.14 AGN, Archivo Real de Higuey, leg. 27 provides some information in regards to the ways enslaved Africans and free individuals were categorized regarding race and color in Santo Domingo; Also see Chapter 1. Both Sanchez and Moreau de Saint-Mry discuss this in their travel accounts on Santo Domingo in the eighteenth century. Britannicus, The Dominican Republic and the Emperor Souloguque: Being Remarks and Strictures on the Misstatements and a Refutation of the Calumnies of M.DAlaux in the article under the Above Title in the Revue des Deux Mondes (Philadelphia: T.R. Collins, 1852), 390. Also newspaper accounts such as From the Salem Gazetta, July 16: From Cape Haytien Baltimore Patriot, 16, July 1822 and 192
14 13 12

Hence, some local inhabitants welcomed the Unification of 1822. Those individuals who resided along the frontier region in Santo Domingo wanted to unite with Boyers government due to several important factors. First, since the late eighteenth century, residents along the frontier region had established trade with those individuals who resided in Haiti. Therefore, the frontier region was a place where there was a long history of exchange of commodities. Second by uniting with those individuals in Haiti, many in Santo Domingo saw this Moreover, there were underground meetings between the Boyer and some of the Spanish residents along the northern frontier towns in Santo Domingo to unite with Haiti. As one observer noted: Secret consultations, which though pompous enough in externals generally evaporated in cigar smoke, contradictory opinions, and dull though universal excitement, were evidences that the poison of human ambition was fully at work among the black hidalgos and wandering matadores of that part of the island. This state of things terminated to the advantage of Boyer, as the Spanish negroes and mulattoes preferred rather to submit themselves to his power than to undergo the trouble of erecting a new government of their own, or to throw themselves into the arms of the South American patriots, whose friendship they more than doubted.15 It is quite clear that along the northern frontier region of Santo Domingo, residents wanted what Boyers government was more promising then their own or to follow along with Bolivars movement in South America.

another untitled article in the Baltimore Patriot issue of 20, April 1822 stated that Boyer prevails throughout Haiti and that some of the residents in Santo Domingo have no desire to return under Spanish rule. J. Brown, The History and Present Condition of St. Domingo (Philadelphia, 1837), 248. 193

Another example favoring unification is in newspaper accounts such as is LUnion, one of Haitis earliest newspapers. As was the case with many in the early nineteenth century LUnion was in publication only for a few years. Coming out of Portau-Prince edited by E. Nau and A. Blackhurst, the paper defined itself as a Recueil Commercial et Littraire, and was published from 1837-1839. LUnion was a weekly newspaper that published about four pages per issue and was characterized as an aggressive voice shaped by Haitian intellectuals in the years after the Revolution. The aim of the paper was to support and uplift the black race by countering claims against African inferiority. Like most newspapers that were published out of Haiti during the nineteenth century, the underlying political philosophy of the paper was its recognition that Haitian national sovereignty was dependent on developing commercial and diplomatic ties with its closest neighbors. The June 14, 1838, issue of LUnion included an excerpt from the diary of a Haitian soldier who participated in the 1822 invasion of the eastern side of the island. The headline reads as Notes extraites du carnet dun Soldat (Notes extracted from a Soldiers notebook) and it discusses how and when the Haitian army entered Spanish Santo Domingo, and how some of the eastern inhabitants welcomed them. The unknown soldier states, This meeting made us feel that our entry into the capital of the east would be very peaceful and that our army would only have to go in a parade with fanfare instead of shedding blood and confrontation.16 This soldiers diary continues, he wrote:

This particular newspaper provides no further information about the identity of this soldier or any clues about the length of his diary. The excerpt comprises three of the four pages of June 14, 1838 issue and it is a very important source on the first hands accounts of the unification period for both Dominican and Haitian history. 194


On the 6th in the Matinee (afternoon) the president arrived at Bani, people admired the freshness of the guards. We just crossed in with such speed the 50 leagues that separate Bani from St. Jean As soon as they arrived instead of looking for an unnecessary break after a long and hard trip. 17 It seems clear that the eastern inhabitants admired the Haitian army as it arrived in their cities dressed in their military attire. To the average person residing on this sparsely populated side of the island, the Haitian army, which represented the government seemed very progressive compared to the Espaa Boba. Another example of this desire for integration is taken from the history of Jos Campos Tavares, a mulatto slave of the priest Don Pedro Tavares. The former mulatto slave served as a distinguished general in the Haitian army during the first decades of the nineteenth century. His biography is very intriguing because it illustrates and speaks for the many who may have wanted this kind of alliance between Haiti and Santo Domingo. Tavares was a native of the city of Santiago. Although he was a general who served quite extensively in the military, his name is not frequently discussed in Dominican and Haitian history textbooks. His life is told in a manuscript edited by the Spanish planter Gaspar de Arredondo y Pichardo. Arredondo y Pichardo fled from Santo Domingo in 1805 as a result of the 1795 Treaty of Basel and resettled in Puerto Principle, Cuba.18 It was claimed that the planters nephew sent the manuscript from Cuba to the Dominican historian Jos Gabriel Garca.19 Arredondo y Pichardo also served as a

17 18

UFL, LUnion, 14 June 1838.

For more the implications the Treaty of Basel had in Santo Domingo see Chapter 3. It is important to note here that Jos Gabriel Garca, father of Dominican history, views regarding colonial history clearly evince the nationalism and liberalism 195

representative of the elites of the city of Santiago, which opposed the occupying Haitian government. In the narrative, Arredondo y Pichardo mentions Tavares several times. On the first occasion he accompanies him on a trip to Guarico, todays La Limonande. Tavares had been promoted to chief of the brigade and commander of interior plaza. Arredondo y Pichardo was happy with this appointment; he wrote that Tavares, although a mulatto, is still of Spanish descent and has conserved that prestige to us even though at this time we live under another system.20 On the second occasion, Arredondo y Pichardo detailed the disastrous defeat of a small group of Spanish landowners of which he and four others survived. The planter of Santo Domingo describes Tavaress entire speech, entitled Palabras de Campo Tavares desde las Orillas del Yaque. Tavares attempts to calm the ego of his Spanish paternalistic former owners by stating to them that he speaks to the Haitians as a friend of Spanish descent and as countrymen: 21 Citizens. I am from the country in which you were born. I am your friendI understand the situation that you are all in. I see the strengths that you have. I understand your intentions.22 Tavares is setting the tone to his audience by telling them the he knows, understands, and sympathizes with them the that inspired his historiographical works. Garcas work is based on extensive documentary evidence. Therefore, it should be mentioned that his interpretations have greatly influenced a number of historians in the Dominican Republic. Palabras de Campo Tavares desde las Orillas del Yaque in Arredondo y Pichardos La Memoria, 143. (See Chapter 5 for a reference of his manuscript regarding the events that took place in Santo Domingo during the Revolution) Tavares is stating to his fellow natives that he is just as much as a citizen of Santo Domingo as the other residents.
22 21 20

Palabras de Campo Tavares desde las Orillas del Yaque. 196

concerns they have for the state of the Spanish colony. He further goes by stating to them Open your eyes, reflect [] I speak to you as a friend, as a Spaniard, a countryman. Our chief is very gooddo not try to resist and convince yourselves that this government is the cause of love and gratitude.23 Clearly, when speaking to the Spanish inhabitants of Santo Domingo, Tavares wants them to support Haitian Unification. By asserting in his speech his own status as a native member of his countrymen, as a Spanish descent, and as a friend and to open up and reflect to what the advantages to Unification would bring to Santo Domingo. He is trying to convince his fellow country that it is in their best interest to unite with the Haitians. Tavares example proves that there were some inhabitants who had an opposite viewpoint between the small slave-holding elites and the oppressed about the future of the Spanish colony. This is especially true in regards to the abolition of slavery and the creation of a unified colony where members of different sides and social classes demonstrated an awareness of the political ramifications. Some supported unification while others such as Don Jos Francisco de Heredia feared it. Francisco de Heredia was a Spanish landowner in Santo Domingo who fled the island in 1801 and resettled in Cuba. He did not leave because of the Revolution itself; he relocated because of the 1795 signing of the Treaty of Basel and Toussaints


Palabras de Campo Tavares desde las Orillas del Yaque.


administration.24 Describing the Treaty of Basel and its aftermath in his 1812 address to the Ayuntamiento concerning the state of Santo Domingo he writes: This part of Hispaniola has suffered a series of calamities capable of ruining the best organized state, and even more so for a colony which had just started to enjoy that degree of prosperity that permits political principles and similar establishments. Her very rights with relation to Spain as the cradle of the Spanish Empire in the New Worlddid not save her from the sad fate of seeing herself ceded to the new French Republic, which with its very name is an insultAll of the Spanish population resolved to emigrate to another soil and only those who absolutely could not stayedThis island lost the biggest and best part of its civilized and hard-working population, and almost all of the circulating capital that gave it life.25 Francisco de Heredias address clearly illustrates the shock that was felt by the small upper class that still remained in Santo Domingo. They opposed the fact that their beloved country was lost and now under French speaking black rule. This was too much for the elite inhabitants of Santo Domingo to endure. Consequently, there was a steady decline and growing resentment of Haiti among the upper landowning class.26 Clearly, class and race distinguished the lifestyles between the upper elites and the large peasant class of blacks and mulattos. Pedro San Miguel has argued that Haitian Unification (1822-1844) would mark a critical juncture in Dominican history that reinforced the development of the peasantry

See Chapters 2 and 3 of the dissertation for the impact the 1795 Treaty of Basel had for the attitude of the residents in Spanish Santo Domingo. D. Jose Francisco de Heredia y Mieses speech in Invasiones Haitianas de 1801, 1805, 1822 vol. 1, 165-166. The clergy that once was in Santo Domingo were dissatisfied with Boyers administration for various reasons such land ownership and the abolishment of slavery. See Madiou, Historie de Haiti, (1847).
26 25



in a unique fashion.27 Haitian integration restricted the development of plantation agriculture in Santo Domingo precisely when outside influences were finally driving the rest of the Hispanic Caribbean towards it. Looking back to the second half of the eighteenth century, Spanish trade policies had been liberalized as a result of the eighteenth century Bourbon Reforms and brought security to the wealthy. Taxes on enslaved Africans imported were reduced or waived initially and altogether eliminated by 1789. Therefore, these Reforms caused the slave plantations in the Spanish Caribbean to become competitive with other parts of the region for the first time. Credit was also extended to assist the development of the islands.28 Consequently the planters of Santo Domingo increased their small, extant enslaved population during the 1780s by means of royal tax exemptions; efforts were also made to formulate in 1784 the Spanish slave code the Cdigo Carolino Negro.29 As importantly, the Saint Domingue Revolution immediately following Bourbon liberalization provided a unique and powerful opportunity for the development of plantation agriculture in the Spanish Caribbean. In Cuba and to a lesser extent Puerto Rico, the capturing of the sugar markets formerly

San Miguel, The Dominican Peasantry, 30, 32. Also see San Miguels, Los campesinos de Cibao (1997). David Eltis, Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, (New Cork: Oxford University Press, 1987), 35-36; Deive, La Esclavitud del Negro en Santo Domingo, vol. 1, 153-54. See Chapter 1 for more on the Code Noir. Proposals had been made for enslaved and free blacks to be prohibited from, among other things, renting lands, carrying arms, and living outside specific areas where they were to be concentrated. These proposals were never implemented in Santo Domingo. See Chapter 1 for the more of an explanation of the Cdigo Carolino Negro. 199
29 28


supplied by Saint Domingue followed its destruction and created a lucrative state of production.30 Yet, the Revolution caused almost the opposite effect in Santo Domingo. Its independent, free holding peasantry in the colony would, in fact continue to grow and remain vital until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The Revolution began a turbulent period of war and shifting sovereignty that encompassed the entire island and reduced investments in Santo Domingo during the first decades of the nineteenth century.31 In 1822, before Spanish independence was ever established, President Boyer seized control of Santo Domingo. Slavery was immediately abolished in the former Spanish colony and state lands were promised to the freed population.32 I assert with Moya Pons that the expectation of freedom and reform in Santo Domingo had prompted desires for Haitian unification among the non-white majority, including the comparatively small (in terms of the other Caribbean islands) but still substantial

San Miguel makes this point in The Dominican Peasantry, 16; In nineteenth century Puerto Rico and its more modest and less slave dependent sugar plantations compared with Cuba, see Klein, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, 89112. On the coffee boom in Puerto Rico at the end of the nineteenth century, see Laird Bergad, Coffee and the Growth of Agrarian Capitalism in Nineteenth Century Puerto Rico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983). As we have learned in Chapter 5, elite residents from Spanish Santo Domingo continued to envisage the salvation of the Dominican Republic via agricultural expansion based on slavery. Such individuals led the movement for national independence from the then weak, ineffective, and embattled Spanish crown seen as incapable of redeeming the nations prospects for export agriculture. These leaders had hoped to preempt existing pro-Haitian independence forces in the country, establish a confederation with Gran Colombia, and thus avert Haitian occupation of the entire island.
32 31


Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, vol. 1 (1830), 292. 200

enslaved population. This support prohibited any open resistance from Haitian invasion and assisted foreign occupation.33 However, I also believe that the residents in Santo Domingo had no choice but to unite with Boyers government. They had no sufficient defenses and because of this the only option was to join forces with Haiti. Moreover, Boyers government believed it was ready to make its influence felt outside of its national borders. The first step was to integrate the Spanish side to the Haitian Republic months after an urban white elite led by Nuez de Cceres strove to establish independence in Santo Domingo. In the beginning, multiple sectors of Dominican society requested absorption to the Haitian state because it was perceived as favorable and as more progressive than what they had experienced until then. Furthermore, Boyer had promised the Spanish inhabitants that they would enjoy all personal, civil, and religious liberties that they were accustomed to during Spanish colonial rule.34 As one contemporary account reports: You will have heard before this of the accession of the Spanish part of this Island to the Republic of Hayti, and I have to add, that from the mild and honorable manner with which it has been conducted and brought about by this Government, that it will prove of the greatest importance to the people of Hayti, as no doubt, it will cause a change of things that will make them more respectable, and enhance the Government of the country under the auspices of their wise Chief, President Boyer, in the estimation of all nations.35 Even Nuez de Cceres, the defeated governor of Santo Domingo, prior to Boyers unification, encouraged inhabitants in Santo Domingo to embrace the new leader. In an

Brown during his residence in Hispaniola in the mid-nineteenth century noted that along the frontier region, several enslaved and free blacks in Santo Domingo had expressed their desires to unite with Boyers government. See Brown (1837), 258.
34 35


Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, vol. 1 (1830), 289. Latest from St. Domingo. Baltimore Patriot, 1822, April 17. 201

address to Boyer, Nuez de Cceres states He comes as a father, a friend, and a brother, to embrace you, and to unite you all under the tutelary safeguard of one singe constitution; he will be the harbinger of peace, and we must all act in concord towards each other. 36 Subsequently, Boyer attempted to secure recognition and to develop a relationship with the United States through the acceptance of thousands of freed blacks.37 Boyer also tried to regularize relationships with France by agreeing to the former colonizers demands and paying an indemnity of 150 million francs for the French loss during the 1791 Revolution. These attempts at foreign love destabilized the country at a time that Boyer wanted to assimilate the Spanish side and implement the Code Rural, which became a difficult agricultural program of labor and land distribution. Boyer was a man of action with according to an English visitor at the time.38 In fact, Boyers first public decision after taking possession of Santo Domingo was to promise land to all the freed men. In 1822 he immediately marched to the Saman Bay region, located on the north eastern region of the island where the French invasion was set to arrive. He attacked the first arrivals by taking them prisoners. Boyer allowed the

36 37

British and Foreign State Papers, 1821-1822, 139.

During the preparation stages, he sent to the United States the first foreign plenipotentiary in order to redefine perceptions of Haiti abroad and establish lasting contacts with powerful sectors there. Unfortunately, the project of redefining Haitis image abroad did not have the necessary support in the United States and yet, the immigrants still arrive at the Haitians shores leaving a mark on the history of the island. For more see Dennis Hidalgo, From North America to Hispaniola: First Free Black Emigration and Settlement in Haiti (Hispaniola) Ph.D. diss (Central Michigan University, 2003).

Franklin, The Present State of Hayti, 221. 202

ships to depart with several hundred French planters who had been producing coffee in the Saman region since Ferrands time.39 His first public decision after taking control over Santo Domingo was to abolish slavery in Santo Domingo. In fact in a letter he reports that, it is necessary in the interest of the State as well as of our brothers who have just received their liberty, that they obliged to work, cultivating the land on which their survival depends.40 He instructed his military commanders in Santo Domingo to encourage the former enslaved Africans to grow coffee and other provisions. At the same time, the inhabitants of the eastern part of the island were to be made aware of the property law, which was being enforced in Haiti. Boyer understood that Spanish property law and the system of land tenure was radically different from the French-Haitian legislation which provided for absolute private ownership that was guaranteed by titles issued by the state. But the question is did he care? To answer the question regarding the use of the land and its availability for the formerly enslaved, Boyer in June of 1822, appointed a special commission.41

Moya Pons, La dominacin haitiana, 1822-1844, (Santiago, Repblica Dominicana, Universidad Catlica Madre y Maestra, 1978). Jean Pierre Boyer, Circulaire, en forme dinstruction, du Prsident dHait, aux colonel Fremont, Azua,: Hogu, Bani; Prezau, Seibe; et aux commandants Isnardy, Saint-Jean; Saladin, Lamate, sur les devoirs de leurs charges, Santo Domingo, Feburary 11, 1822. Recueil des Lois, 3: 448-456. Also see Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, vol. 2, 241-44. Jean Pierre Boyer, Proclamation, en franais et en espagnol, renfermant certaines dispositions en faveur des haitants de la partie de lEst de la Republique, Recueil de Lois, 3: 471-475 Port-au-Prince, June 15, 1822.
41 40



The report was submitted by Boyer in 1822 where the commander-in-chief and governor of Santo Domingo, General Jos Maria Borgella, interpreted this as, a force of law. He thenceforth devoted himself to confiscating properties to which the church, in particular, held the apparent title, but which had, in fact, been in private hands since the end of the eighteenth century. The owners of these estates and houses were then redistributed by the Haitian governor and their property given to the recently freed slaves, sold at low prices to his own friends, or handed over to the Haitian soldiers, officers, and bureaucrats.42 Boyers civil codes were published in French despite the fact that many of the eastern inhabitants did not know the language. Furthermore, French was substituted for Spanish in all judicial proceedings, both oral and written, and also in all public records. A portion of the Churchs property was confiscated in Santo Domingo. General Bobadilla, brother of Toms de Bobadilla, asserted that, the lands of the Church were ruined, as well as the lands of those [Dominicans] who were away for several years. Including those who migrated in the years of 1821 and 1822, to avoid the lash of western vandalism.43 The University of Santo Domingo, the oldest university in the Americas, was closed and Boyer ordered many of its students into the army.44 This attitude is reflected in Boyers policy towards land in Santo Domingo. Boyer cared very little about the terrenos communeros land system in Santo Domingo, Jean Pierre Boyer, Arret portent la creation dune commission charge de satuer sur les reclamations des habitants de lEst dont les biens sont sous la main-mise de lEtat, Recueil des Lois, 3: 547-575. AGN, Jose Mara Bobadilla, Opinin Sobre el Derecho de las Iglesisas y Dominicanos Emigrados (1845) 4.
44 43 42

Boletn del Archivo General de la Nacin (Ciudad Trujillo), VI, 140.


which was created since the middle of the sixteenth century. Terrenos communeros originated as the island became depopulated in the sixteenth century. Therefore it was useless to divide the land for the purpose of inheritance since the total Spanish population at that time numbered only about 7,000 inhabitants.45 The original land grants from the Spanish Crown were legitimized by a deed, whereby the Crown guaranteed the rights to the original owner and his successors. When that person died, his land was divided among his wife and children in equal parts, but it was neither surveyed nor partitioned for there was no real demographic pressure on the land. Low population density and low exploitation associated with cattle ranching and woodcutting made land surveying unnecessary and inexpensive. For these reasons alone, Santo Domingo had not had a single land surveyor for centuries. Most people defined boundaries of their lands according to the course of the rivers, mountains, trees, or other relevant geographical landmark. If the family did not migrate, its members usually kept their holdings. When title holders died, new heirs established their rights to the land, but only by writing their names on the original deed, not by actually dividing the land. To complicate matters even further, when new owners A firsthand report describing terrenos comuneros and the social implications of that system was collected by a commission of American senators visiting the island in 1871. Their report has been published as the Informe de la Comisin de los Estados Unidos en Santo Domingo. Also see NARA RG 59, Diplomatic Dispatches Records of Special Agents, 1794-1906. These Department of State records lists several agents since the early nineteenth century that were sent specifically to Santo Domingo to report on its resources, commerce activity, trade, and relations with Haiti. See Turits, Foundations of Despotism, Chapter 1 who has a very good analysis of land property in the Dominican Republic. Other historians who have written extensively on the terrenos comuneros are Jos Mara Ots Capdequi, El Rgimen de al Tierra en la America Espaola (Ciudad Trujillo, 1946), and Alcibades Alburquerque, Ttulos de los Terrenos Comuneros de la Repblica Domnicana (Ciudad Trujillo, 1961); and Samuel Hazard, Santo Domingo, Past and Present, with a at Glance to Hayti (New York, 1873).


wanted to sell their rights, they could do so freely, but they had to pay in cash the value of their shares in the original deed. This was normally estimated without any reference to the market, for there was nothing like a market for land. For Haitians, who were accustomed to the clear and systematic French legal system, this Spanish system of land seemed confusing and backward. They saw it as an obstacle that should be removed at once in order to give land to those who needed it, particularly the recent emancipated slaves.46 However, the question that was to be answered was, which land was to be distributed and to whom? Land ownership under the Boyer regime, therefore, presented a problem for many in Hispaniola. First and foremost, ownership could not be established immediately without isolating the small elite landowning class in Santo Domingo. Therefore, the freed people had to wait some time before receiving the land that they were promised. On June 8, 1824, Boyer reaffirmed his promise, proclaiming that he would make good their right to acquire state land on which to grow coffee, cacao, sugar cane, cotton, tobacco, and other crops. He ordered the promulgation of a law to determine which are the movable and the actual properties of the East that belong to the State.47 In the mean time, Battalion 32 was established to allow the former enslaved Africans to obtain immediate freedom or to wait on their masters. This became the

In fact, the law of July 8, 1824 was intended to eliminate the terrenos comuneros. The law stated that the all the property of Santo Domingo could not be controlled by the Spanish state. Moreover, the law sought to make each rural inhabitant a cultivator who occupied it and cultivated it. See Sentencias Penales de la Epoca de la Dominiacin Haitiana, Boletn del Archivo General de la Nacin 79 (October-December 1953), 329-53.


Recueil des Lois, Port-au-Prince, July 8, 1824.


principal military force to operate in the Spanish part of the island under the Boyer Regime.48 The Battalion constituted the principal military force responsible for the security of the eastern sector. Under Boyer military force for Santo Domingo it was required that all male youths 16 to 25 years of age be enlisted in the army.49 This draft and its consequences along with the practice of reserving the highest posts in the administrative bureaucracy for Haitian mulattoes, contributed to a widening resentment among the inhabitants in Santo Domingo.50 In 1826, Boyer had passed through Congress a new Code Rural, which bonded cultivators to their land and placed production quotas on them. In some cases this program required peasants to work for mostly mulatto landowners and in others it attempted forcing small-lots landowners to work their own land for exportation in an effort to prevent working only for subsistence living. The Codes intention, therefore, was to put agricultural production at the top list of the countrys agenda. In fact, the Code detailed how that agenda should be pursued exactly in regards to its agricultural policy. According to law number one, articles 1-4, agriculture and all those individuals that are tied to it would enjoy all that it provides them but in return would give back to it through labor and production.51

In regions throughout Latin America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean where there were large populations of inhabitants of African descent, certain individuals of the community, entered positions and undertook responsibilities, for example the military that were legally reserved for whites in order to move up in the society.
49 50 51


Boletn del Archivo General de la Nacin (Ciudad Trujillo), VI, 140. Brown (1837). JCB, 1826 Code Rural.


Therefore, under these conditions any citizen that was not necessary to the immediate welfare of the country was to be placed under this agriculture forced labor. The Code Rural even attempted to restrict the freedom and mobility of farm workers. The internal and external financial pressures that the Republic had to satisfy along with this image of a well-run country were the main motivations behind such an ambitious yet repressive scheme. In many ways, Boyers visions for Haiti and Spanish Santo Domingo were similar to that of Thomas Jefferson for the United States, who preferred a country of farmers than a country of urban industrialists.52 The main difference lies in the fact that Boyer believed he had the power and infrastructure actually to implement a comprehensive plan of agricultural production. This meant that good citizens of the Republic were going to work the land in order for the country to succeed. Moreover, Boyer clearly indicated that he wanted agriculturalists more than anything else.53 This program of tying the laborer to the land was no more dramatically different from previous projects of agricultural production by former Haitian rulers.54 Soldiers were assigned to different farms to ensure that workers did their labor and produced their

Hidalgo, From North America to Hispaniola: First Free Black Emigration and Settlements in Hispaniola. Jean Pierre Boyer to Commandants of the Districts, 24 December 1823. Reprinted in Dewey, Correspondence Relative to the Emigration to Hayti, 12. Boyer had hoped to implement more than just a modern system he wanted to guarantee a title to each proprietor and a property to each person. This is clearly outlined in the Code Rural. Such as Toussaint when he ruled over Spanish Santo Domingo from 18011802, Christophe and Ption, 1809-1818. For more see Franklin, The Present State of Hayti, 317-67. Franklins account details the process of the land system under the former Haitian leaders of the early nineteenth century. Also see Chapter 5.
54 53



quota. Boyers government spent its energy and material resources trying to convince the Spanish speaking inhabitants and Haitians alike to implement this program. With the revenues coming from this large-scale program the Haitian government planned to pay its debt to France, gain international reputation for having an excellent economy, and consolidate a sense of power at home. Yet, before this could be done the country as a whole had to steer clear of unexpected circumstances. As Boyer asserted, those that are obliged to protecting the rules of the police were more likely to repeat the course.55 However, the Spanish side of the island had to cope with the enduring political and economic culture placed by Boyers government. Even though there was an attempt to modernize the land-owning and labor situations in Santo Domingo and to reinvigorate a sagging economy in Haiti, Boyer lacked the wherewithal and the discipline to enforce the Code. Therefore, as the economy stagnated under Boyer, both societies ossified.56 Most of the common islanders fortunes, however, continued to collapse. The educational system on the island was a total disgrace. There were only two public schools. The university in Santo Domingo was shut down completely throughout the unification period, and as expected, most of the former Spanish and French speaking populations were illiterate. The republic was only in name since Boyer controlled almost every branch of government and decided every single legislative measure. There were very few avenues Jean Pierre Boyer to Mr. Loring D. Dewey, April 30, 1824. Reprinted in Loring D. Dewey, Correspondence Relative to the Emigration to Hayit of the Free People of Colour in the United States. (New York: Mahlon Day, 1824), 9. Charles Hrard, Dcrit que abroage diffrentes lois relatives aux droit de proprit dans la partie de lEste, Port-Rpublican, December 27, 1843, Recueil des Lois, 7: 133-137.
56 55


of social mobility besides the army, which was poorly paid and suffered serious discipline problems and religious freedom, which were never fully rooted out. Thus, the collapse of the Haitian Unification was due in part to the inability of Boyer, and later the Haitian State, to address the increasing grievances of the citizens throughout the island. By the mid to late nineteenth century, the importance of public opinion as a weapon against the government is exemplified in the historical works produced by the two prominent Haitian historians of the period, Alexis Beaubrun Ardouin and Thomas Madiou.57 Both were deeply involved in the national politics of the country, and Madiou, in particular, was involved in the history of the newspaper industry. By the 1840s the Boyer presidency became overwhelmingly unpopular in Haiti and had a mixed reception in the eastern sector of the island. The country was finding itself in a major financial crisis, which was again brought on by Boyers desperate attempts to buy the armys loyalty. By 1842, it became quite apparent that Haitian paper money was being reduced in value rapidly and that the whole monetary system would Ardouin was a Haitian historian and politician. He is best remembered for his eleven volume Etudes sur lHistoire dHati (Studies on the History of Haiti), published in 1865. This is considered by historians as one of the most valuable resources on 19th century Haiti. Ardouin grew up during the revolutionary period and was not able to attend school regularly. He was self taught. Ardouins brothers, Cligny and Coriolan, were also well-known; Cligny as a politician and historian and Coriolan as a poet. The three Ardouin brothers, along with the Nau brothers, Emile and Ignace, were members of the literary society The School of 1836, which was founded by Ignace Nau. Ardouin was also elected Senator in 1832 and served on the Council of Secretaries of State in 1845. Madiou was a Haitian historian. His work Historie dHati (History of Haiti) is also considered one of the most valuable texts in Haitian historiography. Born in Portau-Prince, Madiou left Haiti at the age of ten to study in France and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Letters there. He then attended the Law School of Paris for two years before returning to Haiti. It was then that he began writing his eight volume study. Madiou also worked as the Director of La Moniteur, the official government publication, in 1849.


have to be overhauled. All the money that was pulled out of circulation was replaced with hard currency. And although import duties were collected in Spanish currency, this was ear-marked for payments to France; the army and civil officers were paid in Haitian dollars, originally pegged to the Spanish dollar, but now worth less. One scheme was to redeem the paper money in exchange partly for Spanish dollars; the Government rejected this though, because it would have involved a temporary suspension of payments to the army.58 Following Boyers attack on the elected representatives of the people, the liberal opposition formed the secret Society for the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which in September of 1843 signed a call to arms and a list of grievances that came to be known as the Manifeste de Praslin.59 Madiou describes how this revolutionary manifesto was secretly circulated among the opposition in Aux Cayes, Port-au-Prince, Jeremie, and other Southern towns. Small groups communicated among themselves, swore loyalty and formed secret revolutionary societies. Ardouin writes: The opposition contrived meetings, which they made in the country on the habitations of the small proprietors, to better indoctrinate them. With speeches, with toasts, they excited the desires of these peaceful citizens in favor of the new order of things which they hoped to found, by promising them above all a more advantageous sale of their produce, and the purchase of foreign goods at a price below their actual value.60

58 59

See Sheller, Democracy After Slavery (2000).

This group was formed to articulate their political opposition to Boyer by denouncing the Haitian economic and political depression caused by the twenty-two years presidency.

Ardouin, 1860, Vol. 11, 235-36.


With popular support for Boyer at its lowest ever, the secret Society for the Rights of Man and the Citizen sent a message to Charles Rivire-Hrard, Dumesles cousin, their chosen leader in Aux Cayes, that the opportunity was here to take up arms. The revolutionaries gathered at Praslin, Dumesles property outside of Aux Cayes in January of 1843. They contacted General Borgella, the regional army commander, to seek his support. He declined, and accused them of being traitors. The men at Prasiln set out toward Grand Anse, which was located in the mountainous south western region of the country, knowing that Borgella would be sending troops after them. By this time, the residents in Haiti were fed up with the inconsistencies of the domestic policies, the economic situation, and the foreign policies that were imposed by the Boyer regime. For the former Spanish territory, many of the residents felt as though they were a conquered territory, as opposed to a united Republic. As one contemporary account reports, bodies of Haytian soldiers were kept constantly stationed in the capital and other towns and posts throughout the territory, tyrannizing over, oppressing by their exactions and extorting, and overawing the native inhabitants.61 By March of 1843, Boyer resigned from his presidency and secretly boarded an English ship that took him and his family to exile in Jamaica and later on in France. The news spread like wildfire throughout both sides of the island. The Revolutionary groups against Boyer continued their protest into Port-au-Prince, where they assumed control and power over Haiti. For the Spanish side, they saw this as an opportunity for them to take action.


Democratic Review, New York, 1852, 140.


Boyers response was one of surprise, not only at Haitian and Spanish creole elites but at many peasants who had refused to collaborate with his official policies. According to one contemporary account, Boyer administration was viewed as a perpetual attempt to balance the different complexions against each other in such a manner as to prevent the blacks from acquiring an undue ascendancy in the government.62 Going back to discussing the implications his regime had on the former Spanish colony, he anticipated that the Church and Spanish exiles from the east who had lost their property would oppose his regime, as would those claiming great quantities of land without a clear or sufficient title.63 In addition, many co-owners of terrenos comuneros might not be receptive, especially if they were able to leverage a minimum of land pesos into the unrestricted access of large estates. Yet he apparently never realized why peasants, in general, did not become supporters of Haitian policies under which land was freely distributed to squatters, the landless, and former enslaved Africans. The answer to this question was not that land reform served in part as a pretext for appropriation, nor that the Haitian regime did not understand the significance and utility of terrenos comuneros to co-owners. However, much of these, along with rural laws and taxation policies, variously contributed to widespread frustration with Haitian rule as has generally been assumed.64 One can argue that maybe it was Boyer who did not
62 63

J. Brown, The History and Present Condition of St. Domingo (1837), 284.

The clergy in Santo Domingo had ended with the beginning of Unification. Members of the Catholic Church in Santo Domingo were disturbed with the Unification project. In fact they had opposed Haiti since the Revolutionary days due to the signing of the Treaty of Basel in 1795 and the forced migration of their property and clergy.

See Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, 290-291. He discusses in detail some of the 213

understand that co-owners tolerance of squatters meant that there was insufficient popular interest in reform. Moreover, with the Haitian Unification, one suspects that owners were still more tolerant of occupants, as pressures to evict them could have pushed them into supporting the Haitian regime. The Haitian project of fostering small property owners obligated to cultivate more intensively and with an emphasis on cash crops was unattractive to the eastern inhabitants when it was compared to having large areas freely for hunting, gathering, herding, and engaging in subsistence agriculture. Given the peasants access to land, Boyers attempt to force a general transition from a livestock to agricultural economy was highly problematic and poorly received. Only in the highly fertile areas of the Cibao region, where tobacco growing had been expanded and land had already begun to be spontaneously divided into agricultural plots rather than open range, did Haitian policies to promote agriculture find mixed support.65 There in the Cibao region, tobacco exports grew significantly during the occupation; and, according to Moya Pons, many Dominicans [even in the 1830s] still sincerely favored union with Haiti.66 Yet, the peasantry in most of the country had neither the need for land reforms nor any desire to alter their traditional forms of subsistence exploitation. Many opposed the state efforts to change their way of life. As one scholar of landed property regarding the Dominican Republic later stated: consequences Boyers administration brought to Santo Domingo.
65 66

Ardouin, Etudes sur lHistorie dHaiti, 10: 168.

Garca, Compendio de la Historia de Santo Domingo, vol. 2, 146. Garcas study is an important source regarding this period because he was born and lived throughout these events.


Their pastoral life was tranquil, having at their fingertips milk, meat, tropical fruits, a traditional sugar press [trapiche], and their limited crops. It made for a lazy life without any aspiration to occupy and possess extensive portions of landthe distant horizon of unending plains that Belonged to no one and to everyone, as was the reigning concept of property then.67 Vast, untamed lands and woods permitted hunting for wild animals, gathering of lumber and fruit, free pasture, and an open range frontier for slash and burn agriculture. Efforts to end President Boyers rule over Santo Domingo were not seriously accepted until 1838. These pro-separation groups had been struggling during the unification to throw off the Haitian burden. According to Moya Pons there were at least four independent pro-separation groups. These included a pro-Spanish group which sought Spanish assistance to oust Haitian rule from Santo Domingo. The second group sought similar assistance from Great Britain. The third group was made up of inhabitants from the Spanish side. They held administrative positions within the Haitian government. The most visible leader emerged Buenaventura Baez. Born to an enslaved woman, Baez believed he could convince the French to aid the cause for Santo Domingo.68 The final group was the Trinitarios. This was headed by the young Spanish creole student Juan Pablo Duarte who sought pure and simple independence without any foreign aid or intervention.69

See Alburquerque, Titulos de los Terrenos Comuneros de la Republica Dominicana, 31. Baez was president of the Dominican Republic five times. However, he is notable for almost continuously attempting to have his country annexed by other countries. In 1844 Baez helped to lead a successful rebellion against Haiti, which established the independence of the Dominican Republic. Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 148-149; Frank Pena Perez,Duarte: Apreciaciones Sobre su Condicion Social y Ideologica. Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos, vol. 11, no. 62 (1982): 49-63; Manuel Ubaido Gomez, Juan Pablo 215
69 68


The Trinitaros were able to force the removal of the Haitians; yet the pro-foreign party led by Baez continued to seek French support and even offered to cede the Saman Bay and Peninsula to the French for their support.70 After forcing the Haitians to flee, the newly established residents created the Junta Central Gobernativa to begin the work of establishing the Dominican Republic. In February of 1844, Duarte along with Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and Ramon Mella seized control of Santo Domingo and proclaimed independence for a second time naming their newly independent state the Dominican Republic. The last of the Haitian government officials residing in Santo Domingo left and Duarte and his followers seized the fortress of Puerta del Conde and declared Separation, God, Country, and Liberty.71 After independence in 1844, the Republic was immediately confronted with not only reestablishing the nation, but also forming a national identity; one that had been seriously challenged and reshaped during the twenty-two years of unification. The formation of a suitable Dominican national identity called for a change in the historical Spanish paradigm and concepts behind the racial awareness of white, indigenous, and black. Dominican blacks and mulattos who now made up the majority of Duarte. Clio: Organo de la Academia Dominicana de la Historia, vol. 25, no. 110 (1957): 152-159; Frank Pena Perez,Duarte: Apreciaciones Sobre su Condicion Social y Ideologica,Eme Eme: Estudios Dominicanos, vol. 11, no. 62 (1982): 49-63.
70 71

Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic, 148-149

Sumner Wells, Naboths Vineyard: The Dominican Republic 1844-1924 (New York: Arno Press, 1972), 59. It is important to note that Duarte fashioned a liberal vision of the emergent Dominican nation-state that integrated the colored masses while differentiating them from Haitians by extolling their Hispanidad, their allegiance to Catholicism, and their (relative) whiteness.


the population had to undergo a transformation so that they could be incorporated into the citizenship of the Republic as civilized (non-black or Indigenous). In other words, they had to be differentiated from Haitians whom the Dominicans termed as African, uncivilized, barbarous, and pagan. In fact, Jonathan Brown reported on his visit to Santo Domingo in 1837 that: The scattered population of the ancient Spanish territory embraces within it a few pure Catelans, [sic.] who reside in the plain of la Vega; but the great majority of the inhabitants, dispersed so thinly over that extensive tract of country, is made up of a multitudinous variety of shades and complexions, such as to set all attempts at classification at utter defiance. Among so motely a race the claims of any one to pure European descent are qualified by his being denominated a white man of the country; by the usual reply which is given to the question as to an individuals ancestry---Es Blanco? Si senor, un blanco de la tierra.72 In other words, whiteness in pre-Dominican history (as well as in other regions of the Americas) is an explicitly achieved (and achievable) status with connotations of social, political, and economic privilege. The Dominican ruling elite, which consisted of white and mulatto landowners living in the Cibao region, at the time of the 1844 re-conquest, not only wished to retain power and avoid social upheaval, as they once wanted prior to 1822; but they also sought to maintain the cultural heritage passed on by the Spanish during the colonial period. This heritage based on white racial images and rule was quite the opposite from the Haitians, who according to Brown Pride themselves upon their J. Brown, The History and present Condition of St. Domingue. 2.vol (1837), 286. Also Mackenzie, Notes on Haiti, 215, vol. 1, points out how blacks in Spanish Santo Domingo were distinguishing themselves from blacks in Haiti early during the Haitian unification period. In his notes at the PRO he writes that the composition of the population is perhaps the most anomalous and extraordinary that has ever existed on the globe, without even accepting the fable origin of Rome. He further goes on to say that the remainder is composed of some white people, chiefly Catalans or their descendents, who are to be found in the Spanish part of the islanda very few French men having been here at the declaration of independence, have adopted Haiti as their country. See FO 35/4.


being the anciens libres---the only class of the present population who were freedmen, and proprietors of estates before the revolution.73 There are several main reasons as to why the twenty-two years of Unification was eventually unpopular with the inhabitants in Santo Domingo. One was substituting French for Spanish as the national language. Second was making the inhabitants of the east share a disproportionate part of the responsibility of paying the French debt. Finally, was Boyers various laws and the Rural Code, forced labor.74 But I would also argue that the residents in Santo Domingo had since the beginning of Unification no choice but to join Boyers administration and not necessarily as an event beneficial to their colony. It is fair to state that many residents of Santo Domingo, especially merchants of the cattle trade and the former enslaved, like Tavares, who were emancipated under Boyers regime, welcomed the Haitian government and the creation of a unified island. I would even further argue that there were probably more of this favoritism of Haitian Unification seen with the cultural interaction including activities such as religious and dance practices.75 Voodoo is probably the most recognizable influence in Dominican culture. The Dominican word papaboc, which means an influential person or spirit, is derived from the Haitian term hongan that refers to the priest and/or priestess. In fact
73 74

See Brown, (1837), 285.

Brown notes in the inhabitants of the Spanish part of the island are in all respects satisfied with the treaty itself but was against enslaving them to pay an indemnity, which was to purchase no advantage for them. He further notes that they excluded themselves from any participation in the provisions of the arrangement between Boyer and France. See Brown (1837), 258. Brown notes that the African dances are still present in all parts of the island. Walton also notes the presents of African dances that are mixed by the descends of both the French and Spanish enslaved Africans. See Brown (1837), 279; Walton (1810), 161162.


scholars such as Carlos Esteban Deive and Martha Ellen Davis have argued that if Dominicans were practicing the religious dances associated with Dominican Vod in the 1860s, it is quite possible that these dances were taking place even earlier.76 In fact, Moreau de St. Mery noted that the Don Pedro Dance, coined after an enslaved African who was born in Santo Domingo and became a popular sorcerer in Saint Domingue, had many similarities to those dances that are associated with the Voodoo religion.77 As for the dances, one observer noted that: the people of colour, particularly those of Hayti, or many who are mixed and blended with the natives of Hispaniola, is to be transported into a circle of lascivious bacchantes; the motion of the foot is no longer attended to, the time is beat with a rapid precision of movement, and volubility of reins, that would almost bid defiance to the powers of mechanism; which though it disgusts by obscenity, astonishes by the gesture and activity displayed.78 The cultural interchange between Haitians and Dominicans is also apparent in language. In an article published in Listin Diario in 1899, Francisco Orteo asserted that many French words have been introduced into the Spanish language, especially in the coastal regions of the South and in the Saman bay region.79 Many Dominican historians would deny any of these transnational exchanges taking place on either side of the island; they are quick to say that if was taking place it was only practiced among those of Haitian See Deives, Vod y Magia en Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Repblica Dominicana: Fundacin Cultural Dominicana, 1988) and Martha Ellen Davis, Vod of the Dominican Republic, (Gainesville, FL: ETHNICA Publications, 1996).
77 78 79 76

See Moreau de Saint-Mry. Walton, 161-162.

Words such as sefol (souffl), briche (soldiers saber), gat (gateau). See Hoetink, The Dominican People 1850-1900, Notes for a Historical Sociology (1982); John M. Lipski, A New Perspective on Afro-Dominican Spanish: The Haitian Contribution (University of New Mexico Press, 1994).


descent. I would argue however, that exchanges were taking place since the beginning of Spanish and French colonization and that they will continue to take place among the two societies. As for the western region of Haiti nothing had changed under the Boyer regime. By 1844 Santo Domingo declared its independence from the twenty-two years of unification. This event marked the beginnings of the formation of a blanqueamiento ideology in the Dominican Republic.80 This ideology no doubt had its beginnings in the colonial period and strengthened during the unification period but it was not until independence that one begins to see how there was need for those residing in the eastern side of the island officially to separate themselves from Haiti. It is important to remember that Haiti became a challenge in the foreign policy of the nineteenth century diplomatic world, functioning as a symbol of a slave revolt and then a black republic in the center of the imperial colonies and nations. It was the first of colonial revolutionary societies to become an important part of the principal powers and to suffer the consequences of isolation and attempts at subversion by the imperial states. At the same time, it also became a positive and hopeful symbol of revolutionary social change for those who identified with its racial project. Without recognition as a legitimate state, Haiti had to build international ties through informal and at, times,

There are many newspaper excerpts that illustrate this anti-Haitianism thinking that was being promoted throughout the newly founded republic. El Telegrafico Constitucin (1821) and El Dominicano (1830?-1846) are two of the earliest newspapers established in the Dominican Republic. Both of these early publications contained stories full of unofficial racialized discourses between Dominican Republic and Haiti after independence. Copies of these newspapers are housed at the AGN. It is also important to point out that Juan Pablo Duarte was known to be affiliated with El Dominicano.



reconnect channels of communication that linked it with those who had an interest in abolishing slavery and liberating black people. As for Santo Domingo, the inhabitants had to endure part of the taxation and disruptive land reform created by Boyer, the closure of the university, the Catholic Church, and the severity of long military rule. The degradation of occupation for those in Santo Domingo was complex by the fact that Boyers troops, not receiving any pay, were left to their own devices to forage and sack what they could from those civilians in the east.81 All of these factors allowed for the east to unite with the west in Hispaniola, and to overthrow Boyer and so end Unification. Yet, there were individuals who publicized and fought against enslavement. These individuals provide some what of a different view of how the Unification was received throughout the island. It is important to interrogate these individuals who have been silenced and marginalized in Dominican history regarding the Unification period. Haitian Unification had a major impact on both Haiti and Santo Domingo, while the idea of it may have appeared good on paper but in reality it created problems for both societies. Boyers presidential policies as they were implemented in Haiti (including Santo Domingo) created tensions between inhabitants in the western region, eastern region, and on both sides of the island. These tensions can be divided along political, economic, and social terms. The Haitian Unification weigh down on the psyche of Dominicans, this is clearly evident. This burden on consciousness created the emergence of opposition groups in Haiti and Santo Domingo to Boyers policies and how their stance led to the separation and independence of the Dominican Republic. Dants-Bellegarde, Histoire du people hatien (1492-1952) (Port-au-Prince: Collection du Tricinquantenaire de lindpendence dHati), 131. 221

CONCLUSION In 2004, Haiti celebrated the bicentennial of its independence. The question of the impact of the Revolution on Santo Domingo is a timely one. Looking back, the Saint Domingue Revolution occurred in one of the largest and most productive colonies of the eighteenth century Atlantic World. The 1791 slave insurrection questioned the ideas pertaining to race, slavery, and the relationship between Dominican and Haitian societies. Furthermore, it defined Haiti as the symbol of black achievement in a world dominated by Europeans, where slavery and racism ruled. For pro- and anti-slavery forces, the Revolution became a crucial test case concerning the ideas about race, slavery, the future of the Americas, but most importantly Santo Domingo. For those inhabitants who resided in Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic), the Revolution challenged the lines of class, color, condition, and occupation, which in return impacted on the overall collective memory of Dominicans. But more importantly, the 1791 Revolution tested the nationalistic and ethnical outlook for those in the Dominican Republic; it also questioned how these differed from those in Haiti. As the study outlines, in 1801, when Toussaint entered Santo Domingo, some inhabitants received him with joy and satisfaction. However, as expected the elites received his arrival with concern. These elites demonstrated that they were not prepared for this invasion. Hence, Toussaints arrival into Santo Domingo was incomprehensible. This event prompted Dominican historical texts that promoted and shaped Dominican nationalism to portray Haiti, its Revolution, and the Unification period as a barbarian invader or invasion.


In this dissertation, I have argued that the Saint Domingue Revolution had a dramatic impact in the Dominican Republic. The uniqueness of Santo Domingos eighteenth century tobacco and coffee producer along with the colonys cattle rancher placed a peculiar combination of labor forces performed by free property owners alongside the enslaved Africans. Consequently there evolved a socioeconomic unit that was both patriarchal and feudal. This meant that despite their color, these freed people not only considered themselves different from enslaved Africans in Saint Domingue (now Haiti) but saw themselves as the only blancos de la tierra (whites of the land). Dominican whiteness was an achieved status with the underpinnings of social, political, and economic privilege; whereas blackness associated with Haiti indicated foreignness, socioeconomic subordination, and inferiority. As for Saint Domingue, for much of the eighteenth century, its geographic isolation, shared economic interests, and the threats of slave revolts and foreign invasion all motivated the planting elites to acknowledge and distinguish the whiteness of their colonys wealthiest planters, the families of mixed ancestry, and the enslaved Africans. The French and Creole (locally born) whites opposed each other; absentee landowners were against resident merchants; planters were against traders; people in one province were against those of another; and the grand blancs against the petit blancs. Moreover, the gens de colouer, ranged from rich landowners to former enslaved Africans and poor townspeople. This conflict within Saint Domingue society was exported into Santo Domingo when Vincent Og along with several of his followers fled to the eastern colony. The reaction of Ogs rebellion from the Spanish authorities was perplexed and mixed. While, many opposed the Ogs philosophy regarding free coloreds rights in


Saint Domingue a few, like the governor of Santo Domingo, empathized for them and understand to some degree why they rebellion. However, the Spanish authorities strongly believed that there western neighbors should be grateful for allowing them to provide shelter in the Spanish territory. However, as Chapter 2 has illustrated it was the enslaved Africans who after careful planning gathered strong support from the enslaved in the North province of Saint Domingue. This Revolution survived twelve years of civil wars. As Chapter 3 asserts rebel activities were abundant and complex in Santo Domingo during the coarse of the Saint Domingue Revolution. There were shifting alliances, mutual hostilities, resistance to several foreign invasions, betrayal, and collaboration among leaders and groups. I argued that events such as the 1793 Hinche Conspiracy and the 1796 Boca de Nigua Revolt occurred as a result of events in Saint Domingue. But more importantly, these two events illustrate that there was some desire from the enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo to obtain their freedom from enslavement. Even though the enslaved population as whole was not as numerous as that of Saint Domingue. With the signing of the 1795 Treat of Basel, the inhabitants of Santo Domingo were frustrated due to the unstable policies of the state of the government and would have long lasting effects on the colony. By 1804 a large portion of Hispaniolas population had died of wounds, diseases, famine, executions, or wars. Moreover, many people had been relocated to other parts of the circum-Caribbean or the United States. Under Toussaints administration, some of the inhabitants in Santo Domingo such as the former enslaved Africans had benefited and were given their freedom while others such as the former landowners felt as though his


administration weakened their colony politically, socially, and economically. With the five year French occupation (1803-1809) in Santo Domingo, some of the inhabitants first felt as though the administration would bring progress to the colony. However, disappointment soon was felt throughout the Spanish colony and again it led Santo Domingo vulnerable to other foreign powers. As asserted in Chapter 5, when Santo Domingo reverted to Spains control, devastation characterized the twelve-year Spanish rule. Espaa Boba, provided no compensation to Santo Domingos economy or society as a whole. Because of these factors residents of the colony such as Jos Nuez de Cceres were under the influence of Simon Bolvars independence movements in South America. But more importantly it provided an opportunity for Jean-Pierre Boyer to influence several inhabitants in Santo Domingo to unify with Haiti. Chapter 6 continues this story by illustrating how Boyers Unification period was received in Santo Domingo. In the beginning, Boyers policies brought some progress to the inhabitants. For example, slavery was abolished for the second time and the former enslaved Africans were provided with an opportunity to advance in the society by joining the Haitian army. However, it was Boyers land policy that changed the attitudes of those who resided in Santo Domingo. As argued in the chapter, Boyers Code Rural was not beneficial to the remaining inhabitants in Santo Domingo; because the land policy in Santo Domingo was simplistic in comparison with that of Haiti. Hence, when the Boyers regime attempted to develop commercial agriculture and privatize property he lost the support of his followers in Santo Domingo who largely inhabited these communal lands.


The origins of anti-Haitianism is complex. As stated in the Introduction, antiHaitianism does not fit most models of racism or prejudice because it retains traces of its meaning as a form of racialized nationalism.1 The study indicated that poorer and popular sectors of Dominicans and Haitians formed a common underclass of sharecroppers and field hands and thus were united. What Revolution and Reaction, attempts to bridge and illustrate how some of these concepts that are mentioned above were played out throughout the colonial and post-colonial period in Hispaniola. The study is an attempt to comprehend better the historical relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and how the 1791 Revolution and Unification shaped this relationship.

See Suzy Castor, Migracin y Relaciones Internacionales: El Caso HaitianoDominicano (Santo Domingo, Repblica Dominicana: Editora Universitaria, UASD, 1987); Francisco Chapman, Race, Identity and Myth in the Spanish Speaking Caribbean: Essays on Biculturalism as a Contested Terrain of Difference. (New York; Santo Domingo: Chapman & Associates, 2002).


BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Foreign Archives, and/or Libraries Spain: Archivo de las Indias, Seville, Spain Audiencia de Santo Domingo, 954-57 Audiencia de Santo Domingo, 1027-35, 1089, 1102, 1110 Estado 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 16 Indiferente General, 1534 Gobiernos Politicos, 78-5-21 Dominican Republic: Archivo General de La Nacin, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Asuntos seguidos sobre la Insurreccin pretendiada por los negros esclavos en Hincha (Santo Domingo), 26 de marzo de 1793 Archivo Real de Higuey Archivo Real de Monte Plata Jose Mara Bobadilla, Opinin Sobre el Derecho de las Iglesisas y Dominicanos Emigrados, 1845 Newspapers El Duende (1821) El Telegrafico Constitucin (1821) El Dominicano de Santo Domingo (1830?-1846) England: Public Records Office, England War Department, 1/58-1/95 Foreign Office, 35 The British Library, England Egerton MS 1794 (Spanish Correspondence) Newspapers LEclaireur The David Nicholls Collection, Oxford University


Archives and Libraries in the United States Florida: General Rochemubero Papers Newspapers (Foreign) Le Manifeste (1841-1844) Le Patriote (1841-1843) LUnion (1837-1839) Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Washington DC Rare Books Dissertation sur la cause physique de la couleur des negres. Paris, P.G. Simon, 1741. Maupertuis, Dissertation physique loccasion du ngre blanc. Leyde, 1744. Maupertuis, Venus physique: contenant deux dissertations, lune, sur lorigine des homes et des animaux, et lautre, sur lorigine des noirs. A La Haye: Chez Jean Martin Husson, 1746. Newspapers (Foreign) Gazette de Saint-Domingue, Politique, Civile, conomique et Littraire et Affiches Amricaines (1791) Newspapers (Domestic) Baltimore Patriot (1822) Democratic Review (1852) Louisiana Advertiser (1820) National Gazette (1824) Recuiel de Lois National Archives, United States, College Park, Maryland Diplomatic Dispatches: Records of Special Agents, 1794-1906 Publications on the Independence of Haiti, 1807-1815 Rhode Island: The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University 228

Relating to Saint-Domingue and the Haitian Revolution, 1735-1834 New York: Schomburg Research Center on Black Culture, New York City Kurt Fisher Haitian Collection, 1727-1958 John Kobler Haitian Revolution Research Materials, 1791-[ca. 1950] Published Primary Materials: Beard, John Relly. The Life of Toussaint LOuverture, the Negro Patriot of Hayti: Comprising an Account of the Struggle for Liberty in the Island, and a Sketch of Its History to the Present Period. London: Ingram, Cooke, and Co., 1853. Billini, Hipolito. Present Condition of the Dominican Republic. New York: Thompson & Moreau, 1885. Bird, Mark Baker. The Black Man: or Haytian Independence. Freeport, N.Y: Books for Libraries Press, 1971, c. 1869. British and Foreign State Papers, 1821-1822. Brown, Charles Brockden. An Address to the Government of the United States, On the Cession of Louisiana to the French and on the Late Breach of Treaty by the Spaniards: Including the Translation of a Memorial on the War of St. Domingo, and Cession of the Mississippi to France/Drawn up by a French Counselor of State. Philadelphia: John Conrad & Company, 1803. Cabon, Adolphe. Cabons History of Haiti Journalism. Introduction and Notes by Clarence S. Brigham. Worcester, Massachusetts, 1940. Constitution de la colonie franaise de Saint-Domingue. Le Cape, 1801. Le Code Noir ou recueil des reglements rendus jusqu present. Paris, Prault, 1767. Code Rural de Boyer 1826, Avec Les Commentaires de Roger Petit-Frere. Port-auPrince: Archives Nationales dHaiti/ Maison H. Deschamps, 1992. Dewey, Loring Daniel. Correspondence Relative to The Emigration to Hayti of the Free People of Colour in the United States, Together with the Instruction to the Agent Set Out by President Boyer. Mahlon Day: New York, 1824. Dubroca, Louis. La Vie de Toussaint-Louverture. Charleston, S.C. Printed by T. S. Bowen, 1802.


Edwards, Bryan. A Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo: Comprehending An Account of the Revolt of the Negroes in the Year 1791. 3 vols. London, 1819. Ferrand, L. General de brigade, comandante en jefe de la colonia de Santo Domingo, Decreto. Santo Domingo, 22 de enero de 1804. Fernandez de Ovido, Gonzalo,. Natural History of the West Indies, translated edited by Sterling A. Soudmire. North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, No. 32. Franklin, James. The Present State of Hayti (Saint Domingue) with Remarks on its Agriculture, Commerce, Laws, Religion, Finances, and Population, Etc. London: J. Murrary, 1828. Harvey, William Woodis. Sketches of Hayti: From the Expulsion of the French, To the Death of Christophe. London: L.B. Seeley and Son, 1827. Inchaustegui Cabral, Joaquin M. ed. Documentos Para Estudio: Marco de la Epoca y Problemas del Tratado de Basilea de 1795 en La Parte Espanola de Santo Domingo. B.A., 1957. 2 v. Academia Dominicana de La Historia. Publicaciones 5-6. Lacrois, Pamphile de. La Revolution de Haiti. 1819. Mackenzie, Charles. Notes on Haiti: Made During A Residence in that Republic Volume I and II, London; 1830. Madiou, Thomas. Histoire dHaiti. Port-au-Prince, Impr. de J. Courtois, 1847-1848. Monte y Tejada, Antonio. Historia de Santo Domingo, Vols. 1- 4. Santo Domingo: Amigos del Pais, 1890. Mossell, Charles W. Toussaint LOuverture, The Hero of Saint Domingo, Solider, Statesman, Matry: Or, Haytis Struggle, Triumph, Independence, and Achievements. Gragnon-Lacoste, Thomas Prosper, 1820. Moreau de Saint-Mry, M.L.E. A Topographical and Political Description of the Spanish Part of Saint Domingo: Containing, General Observations on the Climate, Population and Productions, on the Character and Manners of the Inhabitants; with an Account of the Several Branches of Government. Philadelphia: Translated from the French by William Cobbett; Vol. 1-2, 1789. _________________________. Description Topographique, Physique, Civile,


Politique et Historique de la Partie Franc aise de l'isle Saint-Domingue: Avec des Observations Generales sur la Population, sur le Caractere & les Moeurs de ses Divers Habitans, sur son Climat, sa Cult. Philadelphia: Vol. 1-2, 1797. Rainsford, Marcus. An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti: Comprending a View of the Principal Transactions in the Revolution of Saint Domingo: with its Ancient and Modern State. 1805. _______________. A Memoir of Transactions that Took Place in St. Domingo in the Spring of 1799. London: R.B. Scott, 1802. Rodriguez Demorizi, Emilio, ed. Cension de Santo Domingo a Francia: Correspondencia De Godoy, Garcia Roume, Hedouville, LOuverture, Rigaud y Otros, 1795-1802. Ciudad Trujillo, 1958. 679 p. Archivo General de La Nacion. Publicaciones 14. _______________________, ed. La Era de Francia en Santo Domingo: Contribucion a su Studio. Ciudad Trujillo, 1955. 311 p. ills. Academia Dominicana de La Historia. Publicaciones 2. _______________________, ed. Invasiones Haitianas de 1801, 1805, y 1822. Ciudad Trujillo, 1955. 371 p. Academia Dominicana de la Historia. Publicaciones 1. Roussier, Paul ed. Lettres du Gnral Leclerc. Paris, 1937. Saunders, Prince. Haytian Papers: A Collection of the Very Interesting Proclamations And other Official Documents, Together with Some Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present States of Kingdom Haiti, 1839. Senior, Bernard Martin, Jamaica, as it was, as it is, and as it may be comprising interesting topics for absent proprietors, merchants, &c. and valuable hints to persons intending to emigrate to the island: also an authentic narrative of the Negro insurrection in 1831; with a faithful detail of the manners, customs and habits of the colonists, and a description of the country, climate, productions, &c. including an abridgment of the slave law. By a retired military officer, 1835. Stewart, John. A View of the Past and Present State of the Island of Jamaica; with Remarks on the Moral and Physical Condition of the Slaves, and on the Abolition of Slavery in the Colonies, 1823. Valverde, Antonio Snchez. Idea del Valor de la Isla Espaa, 1785. Walton, William. Present State of the Spanish Colonies: Including A Particular Report of Hispaniola, or the Spanish Part of Santo Domingo. London: Longman, Hurst, Reed, Orme, Brown & Paternoster-Row, 1810, 2 vols.


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