Before They Were Haitians: Examining Evidence for Kongolese Influence on the Haitian Revolution
- Journal of Haitian Studies
- University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Black Studies Research
- Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2016
- pp. 4-36
- Additional Information
In Haiti: The Aftershocks of History, historian Laurent Dubois describes how most of the slaves brought to Saint Domingue during the late eighteenth century were former soldiers brought from central Africa, and that the French unwittingly supplied the colony with slaves whose regional origin made their rebellion in 1791 possible. The goal of this article is to explore if the evidence supports this claim of Central African origin, and does so while distinguishing that the region from which African slaves were purchased and the region from which they originated were not necessarily one and the same. By analyzing French documents concerning African slave ports, colony reports, plantation data, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (TSTD), and the historiography surrounding the French slave trade, this article seeks to determine whether or not the slaves who rose up in 1791 were indeed Central African, either by birth or descent.