By Sara Fanning
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Additional resources for Caribbean Crossing: African Americans and the Haitian Emigration Movement
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 fathersâ•‡ /â•‡ 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.