By Maurice Jackson, Jacqueline Bacon
Bringing jointly scholarly essays and helpfully annotated basic records, African americans and the Haitian Revolution collects not just the easiest fresh scholarship at the topic, but in addition showcases the first texts written via African americans concerning the Haitian Revolution. instead of being in regards to the revolution itself, this assortment makes an attempt to teach how the occasions in Haiti served to impress African american citizens to contemplate themselves and to behave based on their ideals, and contributes to the learn of African american citizens within the wider Atlantic World.
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Additional resources for African Americans and the Haitian Revolution: Selected Essays and Historical Documents
Or, remembering that just months before, the United States Congress had imperiled the security of free blacks by passing its first fugitive slave act,21 had Newport simply resolved to take this opportunity to “lose sight” of this slaveholding republic and see “any other country” where slavery might be abolished? Perhaps his decision had an economic dimension. ”22 Having witnessed their arrival, Bowers may have sensed an opportunity to fill the economic niche left vacant by the exodus. Whatever his motivation, upon his arrival in July 1793, Bowers found himself in a situation which was unprecedented in the history of the hemisphere.
Confusion, dislocation, and ambiguity certainly abounded, as during all periods of violent revolutionary change, but for those people who could look beyond these things to understand the broader meaning, the liberating implications of the slaves’ rebellion (especially those like Bowers who chafed under the restrictions of slave societies elsewhere), the scene must have proven intoxicating. During a residence of some six months, Bowers was privileged to witness 32 • Scott firsthand a process which blacks throughout the new world had dreamed about for centuries – the gradual unfolding of freedom from the ashes of slavery following the rebel victories at the Cap.
6 Like Tom King and Olaudah Equiano before him, Newport Bowers took a shipboard journey in 1793 in which the interrelated themes of escape, travel, and a broadening of horizons all apparently came into play. But who was Newport Bowers? Unfortunately, we know precious little about him. Though the contours of his life remain obscure, we can locate him in a place and time of crucial historical significance. Somehow, Bowers found himself in Cap Français, in revolutionary Saint-Â�Domingue, in the summer and fall of 1793, when events crucial to the history of that revolution (and equally important in the history of African-Â�Americans in this hemisphere) were taking place.