restricted access Mobility and the Enunciation of Freedom in Urban Saint-Domingue

The mobility of nonwhites in Cap-Français was perceived by the city’s white inhabitants as subversive, an enunciation of freedom. Walking and other forms of mobility such as trade and economic exchange constituted acts of contesting power and place in the colony. This essay examines the mobility of three groups of people in Le Cap—black prisoners, free black property owners, and traders in racialized market spaces—and shows how their mobility was read as a destabilization of the social and political order of the slave society on the eve of the Haitian Revolution.