Toussaint L'Ouverture

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Storyboard Description

The story of the Slave who Defeated Napoleon.

Storyboard Text

  • As a child L'Ouverture was taught English and writing by his liberal master.
  • 1743
  • L'Ouverture enjoyed reading about the enlightenment and French revolution. At the time Haiti was ruled by France. If it were not for those books where would Haiti be now?
  • 1791
  • Moderate revolutionaries were not willing to end slavery but they did apply the "Rights of Man" to all Frenchmen, including free blacks and mulattoes. Plantation owners in the colonies were furious and fought the measure. Finally the revolutionaries gave in and retracted the measure in 1791. The news of this betrayal triggered mass slave revolts in Saint Dominique. Toussaint then became the leader of the slave rebellion.
  • 1793
  • There was jubilation among the blacks in Haiti, and Toussaint agreed to help the French army eject the British and Spanish. Toussaint proved to be a brilliant general, winning 7 battles in 7 days. He became a de facto governor of the colony.
  • In France the Jacobins lost power. People finally tired of blood flowing in the streets and sent Maximilian Robespierre to the guillotine, ending the Reign of Terror. The French people wanted to get back to business. More moderate leaders came and went, eventually replaced by Napoleon, who ruled France with dictatorial powers.He responded to the pleas of the plantation owners by reinstating slavery in the French colonies, once again plunging Haiti into war.
  • Welcome to France
  • 1793
  • By 1803 Napoleon was ready to get Haiti off his back: he and Toussaint agreed to terms of peace. Napoleon agreed to recognize Haitian independence and Toussaint agreed to retire from public life. A few months later, the French invited Toussaint to come to a negotiating meeting will full safe conduct. When he arrived, the French (at Napoleon's orders) betrayed the safe conduct and arrested him, putting him on a ship headed for France. Napoleon ordered that Toussaint be placed in a prison dungeon in the mountains, and killed by the cold. Toussaint died in prison in 1803
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