By Philippe R. Girard (auth.)
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Additional info for Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey from Pearl of the Caribbean to Third World Hot Spot
Because of its focus on the omnipresence of supernatural forces and on a loa’s ability to solve one’s daily problems, Voodoo serves as a substitute for a rational assessment of the difficulties a parishioner should face alone. Voodoo hinders Haitians’ entrepreneurial spirit by portraying godly intercession, not human activism, as the most efficient method of human betterment. A Keg of Powder It is easy to understand why slaves would launch an uprising. What is more surprising is that the first Haitians to raise the standard of revolt were whites and free people of color, not the oppressed black masses.
Exiled planters were numerous in Paris, where they clamored that a military expedition should be sent to Saint-Domingue to remove Louverture and restore slavery. These planters were well connected. One of them, a beautiful Creole born in Martinique and who had inherited a Saint-Domingue plantation from her first husband, had unequalled access to the first consul’s most private moments. Her name was Joséphine Bonaparte, ex-Beauharnais, née Tascher de la Pagerie. Bonaparte’s wife and the white planters carried the day.
Louverture first maneuvered to have Sonthonax elected as deputy of Saint-Domingue, a position which conveniently required his presence in Paris, five thousand miles away. In a stunning act of defiance to the colonial power, he then put Gabriel d’Hédouville and Julien Raimond, two official French representatives, in a ship bound for France. 42 ● Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey Fellow officers of color were another impediment to absolute power. Louverture first defeated André Rigaud, a mulatto general who controlled Saint-Domingue’s southern region, in a ruinous civil war called the War of the South in 1799.
Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey from Pearl of the Caribbean to Third World Hot Spot by Philippe R. Girard (auth.)