By Maurice Jackson, Jacqueline Bacon
Bringing jointly scholarly essays and helpfully annotated basic records, African americans and the Haitian Revolution collects not just the simplest fresh scholarship at the topic, but in addition showcases the first texts written by means of African americans in regards to the Haitian Revolution. instead of being concerning the revolution itself, this assortment makes an attempt to teach how the occasions in Haiti served to impress African americans to consider themselves and to behave based on their ideals, and contributes to the examine of African americans within the wider Atlantic World.
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Extra resources for African Americans and the Haitian Revolution: Selected Essays and Historical Documents
Bassett, a black man from New Haven, Connecticut, to be the minister to Haiti. In support of the appointment, Douglass wrote an article for the New National Era on September 15, 1870: “Mr. Bassett is the first colored man appointed by the American Government to any foreign missions. ” â•‡ 5 Douglass’s position on the Commission was controversial; his supporters, especially those who endorsed full Haitian independence, viewed his seeming support for the United States’ intent to annex the island as a retreat from the principles of liberty and independence for Haiti (see Pitre, “Frederick Douglass,” 390).
Did he envision participating in a revolution which rekindled the hope and promise left unfulfilled by the American Revolution? Or, remembering that just months before, the United States Congress had imperiled the security of free blacks by passing its first fugitive slave act,21 had Newport simply resolved to take this opportunity to “lose sight” of this slaveholding republic and see “any other country” where slavery might be abolished? Perhaps his decision had an economic dimension. ”22 Having witnessed their arrival, Bowers may have sensed an opportunity to fill the economic niche left vacant by the exodus.
Bowers left behind few records to help us reconstruct his world as he understood it – only a couple of scattered references among some obscure and long-forgotten ship’s papers, and his own testimony, signed with his mark, before the British vice-Â�admiralty court sitting at Kingston, Jamaica. Details of his motivations, values, and opinions are left to speculation and conjecture. We certainly need to know more about Newport Bowers, but this chapter argues that his experience in the revolutionary Caribbean of the early 1790s was neither coincidental nor isolated.
African Americans and the Haitian Revolution: Selected Essays and Historical Documents by Maurice Jackson, Jacqueline Bacon