Though born into slavery in Saint Domingue, Toussaint learned of Africa from his father, who had been born a free man there. He learned that he was more than a slave, that he was a human being deserving of dignity.
Toussaint learned to read and write and read every book he could get his hands on.
Those moderate revolutionaries were not willing to end slavery but they did apply the "Rights of Man" to all Frenchmen, including free blacks and mulattoes (those of mixed race). Plantation owners in the colonies were furious and fought the measure.
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.
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.
Years later, in exile at St. Helena, when asked about his dishonorable treatment of Toussaint, Napoleon replied, "What could the death of one wretched black man mean to me?" However, it was Napoleon who would lose his rule and die in prison. Haiti remained free.