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Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John Garrigus

Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue

Part of the Americas in the Early Modern Atlantic World Series


Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John Garrigus

Please note this is a 'Palgrave to Order' title (PTO). Stock of this book requires shipment from an overseas supplier. It will be delivered to you within 12 weeks. This book details how France's most profitable plantation colony became Haiti, Latin America's first independent nation, through an uprising by slaves and the largest and wealthiest free population of people of African descent in the New World. Garrigus explains the origins of this free colored class, exposes the ways its members supported and challenged slavery, and examines how they shaped a new 'American' identity.


'This work makes an enormous contribution to the existing scholarship on Haiti, on free people of colour in the Caribbean, and more generally to our understanding of the history of the Atlantic world.' - Laurent Dubois, Michigan State University, USA

'In 1791, the western third of the island of Hispaniola stood as the crown jewel of France's empire and the world's most valuable slave-based colony. It also possessed the most prosperous class of free-coloured slaveholders in the history of the Americas. John Garrigus zeroes in on members of this ambivalent class, particulary those from St. Domingue's South Province who exerted disproportionate influence in challenging the metropolis to apply the high ideals of the French Revolution to end racial discrimination in France's overseas possessions. With this important book, Garrigus has illuminated the complex process that transformed slave revolt into social revolutio, subjects into citizens, and colony into nation.' - Robert L. Paquette, Publius Rogers Professor of American History, Hamilton College, USA

'Before Haiti, an important new study of free people of colour in southern colonial Saint-Domingue, offers critical insights into the social and cultural roots of the Haitian Revolution. John Garrigus brings a nuanced understanding of the complexities of racial ideology to this detailed and grounded analysis of the kinship, business and political strategies free people of colour undertook in the colonial plantation regime.' - Sue Peabody, Department of History, Washington State University, Vancouver, Canada

'In this elegant and dynamic study, John Garrigus uncovers the ways in which colour lines were built and un-built in different spheres of life in colonial Saint-Domingue. By focusing on free people of colour from the southern penninsula, he shows the interplay of metropolitan interests and American Identities in the domains of colour, privilege, and citizenship. Using a rich vein of notarial records, Garrigus proposes a new and very subtle understanding of the development of racial ideologies on the eve of the Haitian Revolution.' - Rebecca J Scott, Professor of History and Law, University of Michigan, and author of Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after slavery

'This long-awaited volume confirms Garrigus as the leading authority on Saint Domingue's free people of colour, the wealthiest nonwhite population in the colonial Americas. Combining a meticulous socio-economic regional study with political and cultural analysis set in a broad hemispheric context, the work will assuredly reshape thinking about the Haitian Revolution.' - David Geggus, Department of History, University of Florida, USA'

About the Author

JOHN GARRIGUS is Professor of History, Jacksonville University, USA.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th January 2011


John Garrigus

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Palgrave Macmillan


397 pages


National liberation & independence, post-colonialism
Slavery & abolition of slavery
History of the Americas
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900



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