Napoleon and Saint Domingue

Le CapI’m posting some primary source material on the French expedition to Saint Domingue. My interest here is how the ideals of the French Revolution were subverted by France mounting an expedition to reconquer its sugar islands in the West Indies. And in the experiences of those Europeans pitched into this alien and brutal world of war, disease and terror.

A plan to put down slave revolts using Native Americans

A plan submitted to Napoleon when First Consul, asking him to consider using Florida Indians, rather than dogs, to hunt down escaped slaves once slavery was restored in the French West Indies.

Louis Bro in the West Indies

The memoirs of young Louis Bro who went out with Leclerc and experienced at first hand the horrors of rebellion in Haiti (with a brief interlude in Bogota and Jamaica).

Napoleon’s Americans

Moses Hart and the Compagnie des Marins et Etrangers (the Company of Sailors and Foreigners) formed to defend a French colony from the armies of former slaves led by Dessalines in Haiti.

Netherwood the Swede

The unusual life of a Swede who supported the French Revolution but who travelled out to Saint Domingue to assist in reintroducing slavery.

Voyage to America by J P Bechaud

This first letter describes a journey through Switzerland as a French office travels to Milan, and later Genoa, to join his unit (of foreign deserters) being sent to Saint Domingue.

A kindle book presenting accounts by four Polish officers sent to Haiti is also now available in the UK and more generally.