Thousands of slaves were armed to fight. In one month, more than 1,000 plantations were burned. To prevent total defeat, the representatives of the revolutionary government in Paris abolished slavery in September 1793.
L'Ouverture changed sides, joining with the French, who sought to continue the institution of slavery. He soon became the leading black general for the French and defeated those of his former colleagues who were still allied with the Spanish.
In early 1802, Napoleon sent a military expedition to reassert French control over Saint-Domingue. In a brief but costly campaign, L'Ouverture was defeated and exiled to France.