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The October Days (1789)

Source

In the fall of 1789, speeches filled the air in Versailles, and a river of pamphlets and newspapers flooded Paris; however, grain remained in short supply. On 5 October, several hundred women staged a protest against the high price of bread at the City Hall. Just as in July, this traditional form of grievance took on a new meaning against the background of political events—in this case, the... Read More »

The Palmer Family

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Painted by Francesco Renaldi in 1786, The Palmer Family depicts Major William Palmer (seated in the center) surrounded by his two bibis, children, and female servants. Bibis are common-law wives of British men in India. Seated to Palmer's left is Bibi Faiz Bakhsh. She is holding one of Palmer's children, a sleeping baby boy named Hastings. Standing to either side of her is Palmer's... Read More »

The Pennsylvania Gazette: Blame Now Falls (16 May 1792)

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The blame for the Haitian Revolution now falls, at least according to the author of this letter, on the "blood–thirsty aristocracy," which has created dissensions among the French. The author also expresses alarm at the thought of the revolt spreading to other islands in the Caribbean.

The Pennsylvania Gazette: Free blacks and mulattos flee (4 December 1793)

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Along with whites, free blacks and mulattos were also among those who fled the Haitian uprising. Mulattos could own slaves and plantations, and many of them did. Free blacks often manned the militias used to hunt down runaway slaves. Like the white settlers, both groups therefore had reason to flee. But, as this source relates, states such as South Carolina feared the consequences of their... Read More »

The Pennsylvania Gazette: Magnitude of the Insurrection (12 October 1791)

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The magnitude of the Haitian insurrection quickly became clear as alarmed observers related that considerable armies were being raised to fight the rebels. It is noteworthy that such reports even to northern U.S. newspapers expressed little sympathy for the rebels.

The Pennsylvania Gazette: U.S. Vigilance (13 December 1797)

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The Haitian uprising stoked the fears of whites in the United States that a similar uprising would occur among enslaved populations in their country. This article relates how vigilance remained at a high pitch and rumors of rebellion were enough to cause a virtual panic as slaveowners dreaded the possible importation of rebellion from Saint Domingue.

The Pennsylvania Gazette: Unrest Continues (28 September 1796)

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This newspaper details how despite the abolition of slavery in Haiti, turbulence continued in many parts of the colony. The French relied on local generals, including Toussaint L’Ouverture, to try to restore order.

The Pennsylvania Gazette: White Refugees (17 July 1793)

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This newspaper article reports sympathetically on the situation of the white refugees fleeing Haiti because of uprising. The articles details how the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia met the influx of these refugees.

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THE PÈRE DUCHESNE SUPPORTS THE TERROR

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The radical journalist Jacques–René Hébert here calls on the sans–culottes of Paris to rise against their enemies in the capital, that is, those who block the work of the sections and revolutionary committees. Afterward, they should march against the forces of counterrevolution in the west. In this passage, Hébert calls on patriots to use violence to overcome their foes, suggesting that self–... Read More »

The Petition of Right

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In 1628, the position of Charles I of England had gone from bad to worse. Rash enterprises, lavish and illegal expenditure, and broken promises of better government had almost ruptured relations between the monarch and his subjects. The King offered to grant a "Confirmation of the Great Charter," such as had often been issued and then disregarded by former monarchs. The Commons refused this... Read More »

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