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As the first complete narrative in English of the Haitian Revolution, Marcus Rainsford's An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti was highly influential in establishing nineteenth-century world opinion of this momentous event. This new edition is the first to appear since the original publication in 1805. Rainsford, a career officer in the British army, went to Haiti to recruit black soldiers for the British. By publishing his observations of the prowess of black troops, and recounting his meetings with Toussaint Louverture, Rainsford offered eyewitness testimonial that acknowledged the intelligence and effectiveness of the Haitian rebels. Although not an abolitionist, Rainsford nonetheless was supportive of the independent state of Haiti, which he argued posed no threat to British colonial interests in the West Indies, an extremely unusual stance at the time. Rainsford's account made an immediate impact upon publication; it was widely reviewed, and translated twice in its first year. Paul Youngquist's and Grégory Pierrot's critical introduction to this new edition provides contextual and historical details, as well as new biographical information about Rainsford. Of particular interest is a newly discovered miniature painting of Louverture attributed to Rainsford, which is reproduced along with the twelve engravings that accompanied his original account.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Chronology
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xvii-lvi
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  1. A Note on the Text
  2. pp. lvii-lviii
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  1. An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 5-12
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Chapter II. Origin of the Revolutionary Spirit of this Period in St. Domingo
  2. pp. 69-77
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  1. Chapter III. Account of the Progress and Accomplishment of the Independence of St. Domingo
  2. pp. 77-132
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  1. Chapter IV. State of Manners on the Independence of the Blacks in St. Domingo, with a Memoir of the Circumstances of the Author’s Visit to the Island in 1799
  2. pp. 132-148
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  1. Chapter V. View of the Black Army, and of the War between the French Republic and the independent Blacks of St. Domingo
  2. pp. 148-216
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  1. Chapter VI. On the Establishment of a Black Empire, and the probable Effects of the Colonial Revolution
  2. pp. 216-218
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  1. Appendix: Compromising Documents Referred to in Different Parts of the Work: Together with Auxiliary Remarks
  2. pp. 219-276
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  1. Editorial Notes
  2. pp. 277-320
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 321-330
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 331-344
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