Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of individual items and small groups of Haitian documents mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. It includes miscellaneous correspondence of Etienne Polvérel and Félicité Sonthonax, members of the Civil Commission sent by the French government to the Windward Islands "to restore order and tranquillity" in 1793, and of various Haitian heads of state, among them Nissage Saget (1874), Lysius Félicité Salomon (1883) and Tirésias Simon Sam (1897). Also included are a 1778 inventory listing the names, age, trades and physical condition of 149 slaves on the Beaugé Plantation in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue; a 1785 manumission certificate for Jeanne Aline, a sixteen year-old slave girl; miscellaneous French colonial administration documents ranging from 1791 to 1803; two letters from Henri Christophe to Tobias Lear, U.S. Consul to Saint-Domingue in 1802, and to Corneille Brelle, a French priest appointed Grand Almoner and Archbishop of Haiti in 1811; 1830s Masonic certificates from the Grande Loge d'Haiti; and a group of six autograph letters with attachments from the Haitian surrealist poet Clément Magloire-Saint-Aude (1968-1970).|||Diplomatic correspondence includes 35 letters from the Haitian Legation in Paris to the Haitian Ministry of Foreign Relations, 1911-1914, relating to the purchase of 10,000 guns and 500,000 rounds of ammunition in France, and to a 36-hour British ultimatum to the Haitian government. Also a group of letters from the Haitian Legation in Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo) that give a sense of the general situation between the two countries prior to the October 1937 massacre of 10,000 Haitians in the Dominican Republic.|||"Notes on Saint-Domingue" (52 p.), a manuscript document written before 1791 giving the physical description of the main towns and localities in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue.|||Toussaint-Louverture correspondence and documents ranging from 1796 to 1802, including a partial register of ordinances and proclamations issued by Toussaint-Louverture as General-in-chief of the army of Saint-Domingue in April 1796, and the text of a November 1801 decree strengthening military order and maintaining the former slaves on the plantations in the aftermath of an insurrection led by his nephew, General Moyse.|||Slave ship La Concorde, 1790-1792: documents related to a legal dispute between a businessman in Cap Français in Saint-Domingue and the captain of the slave ship La Concorde.|||Correspondence and other documents of Comte de Leaumont, Saint-Domingue-born ex-plantation owner and president of an association of former French settlers dispossessed by the Haitian revolution, including a memoir by Georges Christophe Wurtz, a medical doctor, "on the means to repair the harm done to French trade by the insurrection in Saint-Domingue" (1802-1822).|||Fugitive Slaves, Turks and Caicos Islands, 1821. Instructions from C. Rawley, Rear Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the British fleet in Jamaica, to William Wiseman on a mission to Haiti to negotiate the return of fugitive slaves who had fled there from the Turks Islands salt ponds. Included is a brief letter from Haiti's president Jean-Pierre Boyer, declaring any individual on Haitian soil automatically free and beyond pursuit.