Toussaint Louverture

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Toussaint Louverture, as depicted in an 1802 French engraving

François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture (20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803) also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution.


  • Let the sacred flame of liberty that we have won lead all our acts. Let us go forth to plant the tree of liberty, breaking the chains of those of our brothers still held captive under the shameful yoke of slavery. Let us bring them under the compass of our rights, the imperceptible and inalienable rights of free men. [Let us overcome] the barriers that separate nations, and unite the human species into a single brotherhood. We seek only to bring to men the liberty that [God] has given them, and that other men have taken from hem only by transgressing His immutable will.
    • "Address to Soldiers for the Universal Destruction of Slavery", Bulletin official de St-Domingue, 18 May 1797
  • When the people of St-Domingue first tasted the fruit of liberty that they hold from the equity of France; when to the violent upheavals of the revolution that announced it succeeded the pleasures of tranquility; when finally the rule of law took the place of anarchy under which the unfortunate colony had too long suffered, what fatality can have led the greatest enemy of its prosperity and of our happiness still to dare to threaten us with the return of slavery?
    • Letter to the French Directory, November 1792
  • It is for you, Citizen Directors, to remove from over our heads the storm that the eternal enemies of our liberty are preparing in the shades of silence. It is for you to enlighten the Legislature, it is for you to prevent the enemies of the present system from spreading themselves on our unfortunate shores to sully them with new crimes. Do not allow our brothers, our friends, to be sacrificed to men who wish to reign over the ruins of the human species. But no, your wisdom will enable you to avoid the dangerous snares which our common enemies hold our for you.
    • Letter to the French Directory, November 1792
  • Since the revolution, I have done all that depended upon me to return happiness to my country and to ensure liberty for my fellow citizens. Forced to combat internal and external enemies of the French Republic, I made war with courage, honor and loyalty. I have never strayed from the rules of justice with my enemies as much as was in my power I sought to soften the horrors of war, to spare the blood of men.
  • Idleness is the source of all disorders, and if it is at all tolerated, I shall hold the military commanders responsible, persuaded that those who tolerate idleness and vagabonds are secret enemies of the government.

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