Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography cover

Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography

John Relly Beard (1800-1876)

1. Introduction and Preface
2. Book I, Chapter I
3. Book I, Chapter II
4. Book I, Chapter III
5. Book I, Chapter IV
6. Book I, Chapter V
7. Book I, Chapter VI
8. Book I, Chapter VII
9. Book I, Chapter VIII
10. Book I, Chapter IX
11. Book I, Chapter X
12. Book I, Chapter XI
13. Book I, Chapter XII
14. Book I, Chapter XIII
15. Book I, Chapter XIV
16. Book II, Chapter I
17. Book II, Chapter II
18. Book II, Chapter III
19. Book II, Chapter IV
20. Book II, Chapter V
21. Book II, Chapter VI
22. Book II, Chapter VII
23. Book III, Chapter I
24. Book III, Chapter II
25. Book III, Chapter III
26. Book III, Chapter IV
27. Book III, Chapter V
28. Book IV, Memoir of General Toussant L'Ouverture Written By Himself (part 1)
29. Book IV, Memoir of General Toussant L'Ouverture Written By Himself (part 2)
30. Notes And Testimonies (part 1)
31. Notes And Testimonies (part 2)

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François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803) rose to fame in 1791 during the Haitian struggle for independence. In this revolt, he led thousands of slaves on the island of Hispañola to fight against the colonial European powers of France, Spain and England. The former slaves ultimately established the independent state of Haiti and expelled the Europeans. L’Ouverture eventually became the governor and Commander-In-Chief of Haiti before recognizing and submitting to French rule in 1801. In June of 1802, L’Ouverture was arrested by French forces and taken to France where he was imprisoned at Joux. There he penned his autobiography “. . . to render to the French government an exact account of my conduct.” L’Ouverture died in prison on April 7, 1803 from pneumonia. Although L’Ouverture died a captive of the French, the revolution he led was historically perhaps the most significant world event opposing slavery. It precipitated a re-examination--among the major European powers as well as those in the new world--of the right of all mankind to be free and self-governing. John Relly Beard, an English minister, wrote The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture and published it in London in 1853. Ten years later, the biography was re-published and augmented to include L’Ouverture’s 35-page translated autobiography--along with other documents and contributions by public officials--and was re-published in Boston. This reconstituted edition was titled, Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography. (Introduction by James K. White)