Toussaint Louverture

Haitian national hero

François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture (20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803) also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution.

Toussaint Louverture, as depicted in an 1802 French engraving

Quotes edit

  • For too long, gentlemen by way of abuses that one can never too strongly accuse of having taken pace because of our lack of underrstanding and ignorance - for every long time, I say - we have been victims of your greed and your avarice. Under the blows of your barbarous whip we have accumulated for you the treasures you enjoy in this colony; the human race has suffered to asee with what barbarity you have treated men like yourself...
    • Letter to the General Assembly (1792)
  • Let the sacred flame of liberty that we have won lead all our acts. Let us go forth to plant the tree of liberty, breaking the chains of those of our brothers still held captive under the shameful yoke of slavery. Let us bring them under the compass of our rights, the imperceptible and inalienable rights of free men. [Let us overcome] the barriers that separate nations, and unite the human species into a single brotherhood. We seek only to bring to men the liberty that [God] has given them, and that other men have taken from hem only by transgressing His immutable will.
    • Letter to the General Assembly (1792)
  • We are black, it is true, but tell us, gentle men, you who are so judicious, what is the law that says that the black man must belong to and be the property of the white man?
    • Letter to the General Assembly (1792)
  • For too long we have borne your chains without thinking of shaking them off, but any authority which is not founded on virtue and humanity, and which only tends to subject one's fellow man to slavery, must come to an end, and that end is yours.
    • Letter to the General Assembly (1792)
    • "Address to Soldiers for the Universal Destruction of Slavery", Bulletin official de St-Domingue, 18 May 1797
  • When the people of St-Domingue first tasted the fruit of liberty that they hold from the equity of France; when to the violent upheavals of the revolution that announced it succeeded the pleasures of tranquility; when finally the rule of law took the place of anarchy under which the unfortunate colony had too long suffered, what fatality can have led the greatest enemy of its prosperity and of our happiness still to dare to threaten us with the return of slavery?
    • Letter to the French Directory, November 1792
  • It is for you, Citizen Directors, to remove from over our heads the storm that the eternal enemies of our liberty are preparing in the shades of silence. It is for you to enlighten the Legislature, it is for you to prevent the enemies of the present system from spreading themselves on our unfortunate shores to sully them with new crimes. Do not allow our brothers, our friends, to be sacrificed to men who wish to reign over the ruins of the human species. But no, your wisdom will enable you to avoid the dangerous snares which our common enemies hold our for you.
    • Letter to the French Directory, November 1792
  • Since the revolution, I have done all that depended upon me to return happiness to my country and to ensure liberty for my fellow citizens. Forced to combat internal and external enemies of the French Republic, I made war with courage, honor and loyalty. I have never strayed from the rules of justice with my enemies as much as was in my power I sought to soften the horrors of war, to spare the blood of men.
  • Idleness is the source of all disorders, and if it is at all tolerated, I shall hold the military commanders responsible, persuaded that those who tolerate idleness and vagabonds are secret enemies of the government.
  • ...We have no other resource than destruction and flame. Bear in mind that the soil bathed with out sweat must not furnish our enemies with the smallest aliment. Tear up the roads with shot; throw corpses and horses into all the fountains; burn and annihilate everything, in order that those who have come to reduce us to slavery may have before their eyes the image of hell which they deserve.
    • Letter to Dessalines. (1802)

Quotes about Toussaint Louverture edit

  • He was one of the leaders. There were others: Boukman, a Jamaican who in 1791 organized a Vodou ceremony where people pledged to fight for liberty or to die. There was Mackandal. And then L’Ouverture, who was on a plantation, who started organizing, and had military training. There were also leaders like Jean-Jacques Dessalines, whose motto was, “Cut their heads off, burn their houses.” L’Ouverture was taken from Haiti and imprisoned in France, where he died. Wordsworth wrote a poem about him. One of L’Ouverture’s most quoted sayings was, when he was about to be taken off by the French, “You can cut the branches of the tree of liberty, but you can’t destroy the roots because they are too strong and too many.” He was a phenomenal leader, but it’s important to acknowledge the others. Because it’s a problem we have thinking that one person can make a revolution, whether it’s now or in the past.

See Also edit

External links edit

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