Toussaint's Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution

By Horne, Gerald | Journal of Haitian Studies, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

Toussaint's Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution


Horne, Gerald, Journal of Haitian Studies


Toussaint's Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution. By Gordon S. Brown. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005, 321 pages. $32.00 cloth.

Reviewed by Gerald Home

This is one of many books that have poured forth of late on the critically important topic of the U.S. and the Haitian Revolution. It is a worthy effort, written in a sprightly tone with the research being adequate to the task at hand. It is true that at times Haiti gets lost in the midst of sketching the contours of the U.S./U.K./France relationship which influenced the Revolution so deeply but even here the author adds useful detail necessary for a fuller understanding of these epochal events of two hundred years ago.

Above all, the author limns the profound crisis that the Revolution presented to the triumphant revolutionaries in North America. The U.S. authorities were not opposed to a blow being inflicted on France, whose territory they eventually gobbled up-i.e. the "Louisiana Purchase"; this significant development which meant so much for the continental expansion of the U.S. was brought on directly by the Revolution as Paris' loss of its wealthy colony pushed it toward liquidating its other hemispheric holdings. Simultaneously, the U.S. worried that a weakened France might empower America's former colonial master in London. On the other hand, the slaveholders who dominated the U. …

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