This article argues for the fundamental importance for early postrevolutionary Haitian writers of the international audience over the domestic one, given the need to force foreign readers’ recognition of the legitimacy of Haitian independence and its belonging in the international community. It examines in particular the work of Baron de Vastey as instantiating, through rational argument, rhetorical strategies, and forms of enunciation, the equality of Haiti and other ‘civilized’ nations. Special attention is given to the problem of the reception of Haitian writing as both an analog and a pre-requisite to the diplomatic recognition of Haiti.