Toussaint Louverture 1802

Second Letter to Bonaparte

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

September 16, 1802

General First Consul:

The respect and submission I owe you have always been engraved in my heart. If I sinned in carrying out my obligations, it was not intentional. If the formalities I was supposed to follow weren’t, it was inadvertent. If I erred in making a constitution, it was through the great desire to do good; it was having been too zealous, too proud. Thinking I was pleasing the government, I had the misfortune of incurring its displeasure. I am strong in my conscience as concerns fidelity and probity, and I daresay with truth that of all statesman no one has more integrity or is more thrifty than I.

I am one of your soldiers, and the first soldier of the Republic of Saint-Domingue. Today I am unhappy, ruined, dishonored, and a victim of my services. If my position touches your sensibility, you are a man of too much feeling and too just to not pronounce on my fate. I charged General Cafarelli, your aide-de-camp, to give you my report. I ask you to take it under consideration. His honesty and frankness forced me to open my heart to him.

Salut et respect