The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture, 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

By John Relly Beard | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE life which is described in the following pages has both a permanent interest and a permanent value. But the efforts which are now made to effect the abolition of slavery in the United Sates of America, seem to render the present moment specially fit for the appearance of a memoir of TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE. A hope of affording some aid to the sacred cause of freedom, specially as involved in the extinction of slavery, and in the removal of prejudices on which servitude mainly depends, has induced the author to prepare the present work for the press. If apology for such a publication were required, it might be found in the fact that no detailed life of TOUISSAINT L’OVERTURE is accessible to the English reader, for the only memoir of him which exists in our language has long been out of print.

The sources of information on this subject are found chiefly in the French language. To several of these the author acknowledges deep obligation.

The tone taken on the subject of negro freedom in Hayti, by recent writers in two French reviews, is partial and unjust. Possibly this may be attributable to a mulatto pen. The blacks have no authors; their cause, consequently, has not yet been pleaded. In the authorities we possess on the subject, either French or mulatto interests, for the most part, predominate. Specially predominant are mulatto interests and prejudices, in the recently published Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, by SAINT REMY, a mulatto: this writer obviously values his caste more than his country or his kind.

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