Caribbean Crossing: African Americans and the Haitian by Sara Fanning

By Sara Fanning

Shortly after profitable its independence in 1804, Haiti’s leaders discovered that if their kingdom was once to outlive, it had to construct robust diplomatic bonds with different countries. Haiti’s first leaders seemed specifically demanding on the usa, which had a mammoth loose black inhabitants that incorporated vocal champions of black emigration and colonization. within the 1820s, President Jean-Pierre Boyer helped facilitate a migration of hundreds of thousands of black american citizens to Haiti with can provide of considerable land, wealthy advertisement customers, and most significantly, a black kingdom. His principles struck a chord with either blacks and whites in the United States. reporters and black neighborhood leaders marketed emigration to Haiti as a manner for African american citizens to withstand discrimination and convey the area that the black race should be an equivalent at the global degree, whereas antislavery whites sought to help a state based by way of liberated slaves. Black and white businessmen have been concerned with alternate capability, and racist whites seen Haiti has the way to export the race challenge that plagued the US.
By the top of the last decade, black americans migration to Haiti started to ebb as emigrants learned that the Caribbean republic wasn’t the black Eden they’d expected. Caribbean Crossing documents the increase and fall of the crusade for black emigration to Haiti, drawing on numerous archival assets to percentage the wealthy voices of the emigrants themselves. utilizing letters, diary bills, tourists’ studies, newspaper articles, and American, British, and French consulate files, Sara Fanning profiles the emigrants and analyzes the various motivations that fueled this distinct early second in either American and Haitian historical past.

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Additional resources for Caribbean Crossing: African Americans and the Haitian Emigration Movement

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Meanwhile, the republic also faced a population and labor shortage. In 1807, following Dessalines’s example, Pétion turned to the United States as a resource for populating the island and strengthening his military defenses. 66 Whether Pétion succeeded in attracting settlers remains unknown. He repeated the advertising campaign in 1817. 68 Throughout African American history, economic gain has been understood as a community issue in addition to being a matter of personal motivation. , basic economic rights were denied African Americans because of their skin color.

Understanding the predicament that Christophe faced, Clarkson suggested a version of Dessalines’s project to alleviate the kingdom’s woes: African American emigration. ” This new population would not only strengthen the kingdom in Haiti’s long tactical battle against France; it would also give the kingdom practical benefits. 61 Saunders, one of the first northern African American civic and intellectual leaders to live in Haiti, haiti’s founding fathers╇ /╇ 37 worked as a Boston schoolteacher before moving to the kingdom in 1816.

He spared Americans and other foreigners but killed thousands of French men, women, and children. ”15 In exacting his revenge on the remaining French inhabitants, Dessalines also destroyed a significant portion of the island’s skilled population. That population had already been decimated by the thirteen-year war, in which by some estimates, one-third to one-half of the population had died or fled the island. 16 The revolutionary period also saw the productive fields, sugar mills, and irrigation works destroyed, burned out, or left idle.

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