Toussaint Louverture

Toussaint Louverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history known as the Haitian Revolution.

Louverture led the French in ousting the British and then in capturing the Spanish-controlled half of the island.  By 1801, although Saint Dominque remained ostensibly a French colony, Louverture was ruling it as an independent state.  He drafted a constitution in which he reiterated the 1794 abolition of slavery and appointed himself governor for “the rest of his glorious life.”

Louverture’s actions eventually aroused the ire of Napoleon Bonaparte.  In 1802, Napoleon dispatched his brother-in-law, Charles Leclerc, to capture Louverture and return the island to slavery under French control.  Captured and imprisoned at Fort de Joux in France, Louverture died of pneumonia on April 7, 1803.  Independence for Saint Dominque followed one year later in 1804 under the leadership of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Louverture’s generals, who changed the name to Haiti.

Toussaint Louverture  121 cm  x 91 cm 
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Fall colors  40 x 50 cm