Toussaint Louverture 1801

Letter to Bonaparte on the Constitution

Source: Victor Schoelcher, Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paul Ollendorf, Paris, 1889;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2004.

Wanting to protect equality and the freedom of slaves from any attempts on it by Bonaparte, Toussaint had a constitution written for Saint-Domingue, something the Emperor never forgave him for. When the constitution was sent to France the following letter accompanied it.

27 Messidor, Year IX (July 16, 1801)

Citizen Consul:

The minister of the Marine, in the account he gave you of the political situation of this colony, which I devoted myself to making known to him, should have submitted to you my proclamation of last 16 Pluviose on the convocation of a Central Assembly, which would be able to set the destiny of Saint-Domingue through wise laws modeled on the mores of its inhabitants. I today have the satisfaction of announcing to you that the final touch has just been put to this work. I hasten to send it to you in order to have your approval and the sanction of my government.

Given the absence of laws, and the Central Assembly having requested to have this constitution provisionally executed, which will more quickly lead it to its future prosperity, I have surrendered to its wishes. This constitution was received by all classes of citizens with transports of joy that will not fail to be reproduced when it will be sent back bearing the sanction of the government.

Greetings and profound respect.