Caribbean Project: Review: A Colony of Citizens

Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804


In A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804, Laurent DuBois focuses on the French Revolution as it unfolded in the colony of Guadeloupe in the eastern Caribbean.

The book shows how free negroes and slaves inserted themselves as active participants into the French Revolution and radicalized the political culture of republicanism to bring about emancipation and racial equality in Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue.

OD readers are already familiar with the French Revolution in Saint-Domingue and how it led to the destruction of the wealthiest colony in the world and the creation of Haiti in 1804 which is now the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

It is less well known that the slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue in 1791 led to a British invasion in December 1793 which caused the French National Convention to abolish slavery throughout the whole French Empire in February 1794. This led to the temporary abolition of slavery in Guadeloupe and French Guiana later in 1794.

In my review of Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy’s An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean, we saw how the American Revolution divided British America along ideological lines between royalists and republicans, and how American independence shattered the British Empire and artificially severed South Carolina from her sister colonies in the British West Indies.

In much the same way, the French Revolution polarized French America along ideological lines between royalists and republicans. It led to the destruction of Saint-Domingue, Haitian independence, and most importantly, to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 which severed Louisiana from her sister colonies in the French West Indies.

Just as a common British civilization once stretched from Barbados to South Carolina, a common French civilization used to exist between Lower Louisiana and the French Caribbean. These colonies were all French-speaking, race-based slave societies engaged in plantation agriculture and were commonly governed by King Louis XIV’s Code Noir.

By 1804, the Golden Circle was broken a second time: Saint-Domingue was annihilated, Louisiana was absorbed into the United States, the future Southern states of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma would be carved out of the Louisiana Purchase, and Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana would remain part of the French Empire.

Guadeloupe provides an excellent counterpoint to Haiti: the triumph of slavery vs. freedom and civilization vs. barbarism.

From 1789 until 1804, Guadeloupe and Haiti were headed along the same trajectory. There were slave insurrections in both colonies in 1791 (Saint-Domingue) and 1793 (Guadeloupe). There were failed British interventions in both colonies in 1793 (Saint-Domingue) and 1794 (Guadeloupe). Slavery was officially abolished by the National Convention in both colonies in 1794. Plantation agriculture collapsed as a result in both colonies. The majority of the White population fled the chaos in both colonies and became émigrés.

In both colonies, the conflict was started by the ideological polarization between metropolitan White royalists and republicans, and the status of the free negroes (the free “gens de couleur”) in the colonies in light of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The White majority in both colonies sided with the royalists and called in the British.

In both colonies, most of the ex-slaves were transformed into serf-like “cultivateurs” attached to plantations by authoritarian commissioners (Sonthonax and L’Ouverture in Saint-Domingue, Victor Hugues in Guadeloupe), while much of the rest became soldiers and sailors. The blacks became ascendant in both colonies and expelled their French commissioners (General Hédouville in Saint-Domingue in 1798, Desfourneaux and Admiral Lacrosse in Guadeloupe in 1799 and 1800).

After the Treaty of Amiens was officially signed in 1802, Napoleon dispatched naval expeditions to reconquer and restore slavery in both rebellious colonies: General Leclerc sailed to Saint-Domingue in December 1801, General Richepance sailed to Guadeloupe in April 1802.

In both colonies, the ex-slaves and free negroes resisted the French reconquest. In both colonies, the ex-slaves and free negroes ripped the white out of the French tricolor and attempted to exterminate all the blancs. Finally, in both colonies huge numbers of French troops succumbed to yellow fever and malaria.

In Guadeloupe, the smaller island in the eastern Caribbean which is only 629 square miles, the French defeated the rebellious blacks led by Louis Delgrès who committed mass suicide on the slopes of the Matouba volcano.

In Saint-Domingue, the far larger colony in the western Caribbean which is 10,714 square miles, the French defeated and captured Toussaint L’Ouverture, but Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe resumed the rebellion and triumphed after the French troops sickened and died and reinforcements were cut off after Britain and France returned to war in 1803.

The triumph of the French in Guadeloupe meant the return of racialism, slavery, white supremacy, and colonialism: free blacks were stripped of their citizenship and the “cultivateurs” were restored to a condition of slavery. Interracial marriage was banned and citizenship was restored to the white basis. The exiled planters returned to Guadeloupe, resumed their mastery over the blacks, and rebuilt the slave based economy which would endure until 1848.

Alternatively, the defeat of the French in Saint-Domingue meant the triumph of anti-racism, black supremacy, liberty and equality, and Haitian independence. The blancs of Saint-Domingue were exterminated and the exiles never returned. Haiti officially became the world’s first black republic and Whites were banned from owning property under the Haitian constitution until the American occupation in 1917.

In 2012, Guadeloupe is an overseas department of France, a member of the eurozone, and has an average per capita income of $21,780. In contrast, Haiti remains an independent country, and in the 208th year of free society has an average per capita income of $1,235, a fact which caused Sean Penn to slam the whole fucking world for Haiti fatigue at the Cannes Film Festival.

As we have already seen, the value of Haiti’s exports in 1995 were far short of Saint-Domingue’s exports in 1788. Whereas Saint-Domingue produced three-fourths of the sugar consumed in the entire world in 1788, Haiti has been reduced to importing its sugar from the United States.

Under free society, independent Haiti retrograded so far in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that knowledge of the waterwheel and the flume were gradually forgotten, and the black population returned to using the ox and beam to grind sugarcane to distill it into rum, a pre-Roman level of technology. Rape was recently banned in 2005 although the culture of rape has yet to be eradicated.

What’s the moral of the story?

Like Napoleon, I think it is the exact opposite of the negrophile conclusions of Laurent DuBois who desperately tries to sew a silk purse out of a sow’s ear in A Colony of Citizens: Black Republican ideological fanaticism destroyed France’s richest colony and Guadeloupe would have become a second Haiti if the Richepance expedition had not succeeded.

The moral of the story is that the Golden Circle was poorly governed by foreign metropoles (London, Paris, Madrid, and Washington) and the readiness of the French creoles to side with the British illustrates that all the blancs of the Caribbean slave societies shared a common racialist culture and common economic interests and would have been infinitely better served in a Union of their own.

The prosperity of the Caribbean slave societies – whether British, French, or Spanish, which primarily enriched Europe – proved to be an intolerable affront to the liberal republican values of metropolitan Whites in France, Britain, and if you include Dixie, the northern United States.

The unquenchable desire of these liberal fanatics in the metropole to force hierarchical slave societies to conform to their Enlightenment-based universalist and egalitarian ideological grid pattern destroyed the prosperity of what had previously been the richest region of the Americas.

In the South and the British and French Caribbean, Whites asserted the need for “particular laws” (aka states’ rights) to preserve their accustomed prosperity and civilization. In both cases, the metropoles used force to extend their own liberal republican laws over slave societies, which resulted in precisely the disastrous social and economic consequences that the indigenous Whites had predicted.

In 1848, France experienced another revolution, and the tricolor would come back to the French Caribbean under the Second Republic. Within months of the 1848 Revolution, Victor Schoelcher (the French abolitionist counterpart of William Lloyd Garrison) would succeed in abolishing slavery in the French West Indies.

Laurent DuBois opens A Colony of Citizens with an introduction about the “sans-papier” movement in France. He traces the origins of the struggle of present day French illegal aliens to gain French citizenship, who in this case happen to be participating in voodoo ceremonies in Paris, back to the first racially integrated elections in French history which occurred in the French Caribbean during the French Revolution.

He concludes the book with a tour of the French Panthéon in Paris where Toussaint L’Ouverture of Saint-Domingue, Louis Delgrès of Guadeloupe, and the abolitionist Victor Schoelcher are now honored as heroes of the Republic.

The structure of the book seems designed to raise the question: is the French Republic the enemy of the French nation? Is the American Republic the enemy of the American nation? To what extent is the Enlightenment’s ideology of modern liberal republicanism and the discourse of “human rights” responsible for the existential crisis of the West?

These thought provoking questions were first raised and answered in Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue during the Reign of Terror.

Note: In the PBS documentary Égalité for All below, the author Laurent DuBois discusses the French Revolution in Saint-Domingue and the French Caribbean.

About Hunter Wallace 11873 Articles
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  1. Years ago in Chronicles a French writer came to that conclusion as well. I agree with that old crank Tom Fleming empires eat their own as America’s empire is eating its own at this moment. And yes I blame the slavers as I blame the crazy yankee transcendentalists.

  2. Republics often contain within their foundation texts the codes for the People’s demolition.

    The end is encoded in the beginning.

  3. Don’t believe for a moment that black Slavery is sustainable.

    Those Shitskin Pavement Apes are Good for Nothing.

  4. Yeah.

    I found it telling that the triumph of anti-racism and egalitarian fanaticism just happened to coincide with the French Revolution and 1848 Revolution. In contrast, Bonaparte restored slavery and made France into a White Republic.

  5. Napoleon was a tribune of the French Revolution though. So although he did control the worst excesses of the Robespierre types eventually, he is strongly associated with those radical “innovations”. Had he not emerged in France I reckon the Bourbons would have got their country back in 1805 at the latest.

    He also had a nasty habit of using Turkish and Egyptian Muslim troops in Spain and getting his men killed in the Russian steppe.

  6. I know that black troops were used in Europe in the first war between Britain and Revolutionary France. In the Caribbean, the Republic used black troops to conquer St. Lucia and invade St. Vincent and Grenada.

  7. How Toussaint and Co. can be remembered as heroes of the Republic is easy enough to understand. How can any Frenchman can consider him a hero of France though?

  8. In the same sense as Black Republicans like Sonthonax: the blacks are the only “true republicans” in the colonies. Their loyalty is to an international universalist ideology like communism, not to the French nation or the French ethny.

    DuBois is the epitome of such an individual.

  9. Brilliant analysis. It also takes a lot of developed know-how to find these books. It is definitely time you write e-books, both non-fiction and fiction.

  10. The cover of the book that is pictured tells us that the White genocide (which was loyalist and Catholic) took place under the apex of Masonic power as displayed in the capstone. Just as the ethnic cleansing, genocide of Brittany, the Vendee and the Loire took place under the same apex.

    Some apex displayed by the Corporation of the City of London in the MI5 logo and in Washington.

  11. Yes, Lynda, but ever since the Rhine flowed into the Tiber back in the 60’s, our beloved institution has been an enthusiastic participant in the race to transform the world. Ever notice how the novus ordo altar resembles the altar in a masonic lodge?

    Most of our friends here assume that it has always been so. Tragic, isn’t it?

    Deo Vindice

  12. The French Revolution was financed by Meyer Rothschild. All these subsidiary wars and the abolition movement was also financed by Rothschild.

    Napoleon became Consul after the beheading by guillotine of Robespierre, in which the French Army took over France. Napoleon was merely a Corporal, but all of the officers were killed in the French Revolution, and therefore he was one of the highest ranking soldiers left alive at the time.

  13. Napoleon was quite close to Robespierre’s little brother.
    Napoleon was no a corporal. He was an artillery officer who forced the Royal Navy to evacuate Toulon. He was involved in the fighting in Corsica that raged between Corsican nationalists, Royalists and Republicans before that.

  14. Robespierre was executed in 1794. Napoleon came to power after the fall of the Directory in 1799. Year III and Year VIII of the Republican calendar (in the era of Liberty).

  15. Before the Frech Revolution and the purging of the officer class that were made up primarily of nobles and aristocrats, Napoleon was merely a Corporal. He only moved up after his superiors were all guillotined by the Revolutionary Council led by Robespierre.

    The British, and his other enemies still referred to Napoleon as “The Little Corporal”. This would annoy Bonaparte no end, and is one of the reasons he declared himself Emperor by forcing the Pope to recognize him as the Emperor.

  16. Hunter, watch Dr Doom. You are clearly being slammed by Masonic/Rothschilds/illuminati obsessed trolls. They tend to trip up over basic facts and ascribe societal shifts to nefarious players. The Jews simply were not in the driving seat yet.

    The Revolution in France was heavily indebted to, or infected by to Revolutionary rhetoric practised in the US at the time. General Lafayette was a very important and early supporter of the French republic for example. Thomas Paine was a propagandist for the Republic. He even had a seat in the Republic’s legislature.

  17. John, or whatever your real name is, Meyer Rothschild was the Richest Man in the World at the time of the French Revolution.

    No revolution in Europe could succeed without the implicit support of Meyer Rothschild!

  18. I suppose the American revolution (more or less the same moment) would also have to fall into the same category then? Right?

    I agree that most Jews would have been cheering on the Republicans though as the Republic promised them emancipation. But that’s not why it “succeeded” or rumbled on until the Bourbons came back.

  19. Meyer Rothschild OPPOSED the American Revolution, because his base was in England.

    His grandchildren, running the Bank of England, did however support and fund the Abolitionist Movement before the American Civil War, because the South was producing a huge amount of cheap cotton.

    The Rothschilds owned cotton plantations in Egypt, and therefore were displeased by the price being driven down by Southron Cotton.

    Interestingly, after the American Civil War, all the South Cotton Plantations were destroyed or sold to “carpetbaggers”. This caused the price of cotton to soar, with the Rothschild Egyptian Cotton as a virtual Monopoly of this important material.

  20. Boney was a minor nobleman. His dad was a Representative of Corsica in Paris.

    The revolution was a bad time for bankers too. All sorts of little countries vanished Along with the sovereign debt. when the French rolled in they erased more loans than than a magnet placed next to a harddrive.

  21. Oh, please! The Jewish Bankers made a killing, no pun intended, from the French Revolution!

    Louis XVI banned Jews from owning property in France. That’s why he and his family were murdered!

    After the French Revolution, the ban on Jewish ownership was reversed, and they descended on France like vultures to buy all the estates of the Nobles who were executed by their puppet Robespierre!


    please read this. There’s no mention of an NCO rank. Simply sustain for a brilliant street ruffian. I’ll give you a synopsis of the role of banking in Napoleon’s Europe and Revolutionary France a bit later.

    Generally the Rothchild’s were anti Napoleon and to a lesser degree anti French and ambivalent about the Republic. The arothchilds got on very well with the restoration monarchs like the Orleanists.

  23. And Napoleon got on quite well with the Jewish popultions in Europe inspite of trouble with bankers. The Rothschilds were outliers at that moment.

  24. Jewry routinely promotes sociopathic Goyim, to serve as the mask for their machinations. Napoleon was one of those.

    The entire Goyim “leadership” in the the West are those creatures.

  25. Rothschild and the Jews were totally Anti-Napoleon. The British press did not publicize a thing about the atrocities of Robespierre and his gang of thugs. Just as they were quiet about the terrors of the Russian Revolution in 1917 that were also financed by Jews.

    Napoleon could not destroy the Jewish Hold on Europe because he was constantly fighting England and other Countries under Jewish Control. Every time he conquered a country, Napoleon would apply the Napoleonic Code which forbid Usury.

    If Napoleon Bonaparte had not lost due to the bitter Russian Winter, Europe would have been freed of the Jewish Menace once and for All. Adolf Hitler was also attacked by England when he outlawed Usury in Germany…

  26. Hi, Denise.

    No Napoleon Bonaparte was not a Race Traitor. Napoleon, like Hitler, was a Firm and Devoted White Supremacist.

    This made him an Enemy of Our Enemy – Internationalist Jewish Banksters.

  27. Napoleon emancipated European Jewery you bloody dolt. Everywhere he went they profitted with the lifting of restriction on property and career. His contrators for the army were also Jewish. It took the combined efforts of the Princes of Europe to put the lid back on that outbreak of Jews Among You. I’m not knocking Napoleon but the only Jews who appear to have resented him are the Rothschilds.

    Irony of ironies is how the Rothschilds hated him.

  28. Doom,

    you have it backward. Napoleon went from one principality to another abolishing anti-Jewish edicts. He was pandering very heavily to any yid he came across. Had he knocked put the czar the entire population of the Pale 5 million Jews would have become free citizens instead of a suspect and curtailed alien group.

    Doom you have it so arse backwards I have to suspect you are having a laugh.

  29. So you are saying, lol, that the defeat of the Czar by Napoleon would have doomed European Jews?

    You know nothing of the Czars.


  30. If Napoleon Bonaparte was as Philosemitic as you say, then why was All of Europe up in Arms against him?

    If Rothschild had nothing to fear from Napoleon, then why did he incite the English to destroy him and France?

    The French Revolutionaries under Robespierre were Philosemitic and just Jewish Pawns. Napoleon destroyed them and put himself and the Military between the butchers and the people.

    The Jewish press even Today, calls Napoleon the butcher, even though the Terror was done by Robespierre, who the Jewish Press calls an Emancipator.

  31. Britain lost the 13 American Colonies, in a revolution, the French copied this. It’s pretty simple. Napoleon over turned the ancient regime of kingdoms, principalities, empires. Replacing them with liberal equalitarian gave Jewish people the opening that they revived in 1848, Metternich and Castlereagh kept the lid on them for decades.

    Olympic closer. The inflatable vampire squid!

  32. Bonaparte was embarrassingly philosemitic. It’s a matter of record.

    Robespierre, I know less about in that context. There are two sides to Robespierre–who was on good terms with Bonaparte anyway. He was uncompromising about emancipating Jews in France, but he ended up confiscating most of their communal wealth.

  33. Napoleon invaded how many White nations and got how many White men killed with his “revolutionary zeal and quest for glory”?

    To borrow Jack Donovan’s phrase Napoleon was good at being a man, but he wasn’t a good man. The man could brawl, was no coward, was a master of his craft and has my respect for it. However, let’s not lose sight of what his end results were; many White nations invaded, many White men killed for nothing

  34. “White nations invaded, many White men killed for nothing”

    Only because Napoleon was defeated.

    One could say the same for Hitler.

    What would the World and Europe look like Today if Hitler had won the War?
    Would there be 20,000,000 illegals in America? Millions more in Europe?

    I don’t believe so! We were on the Wrong Side in World War II!

  35. If the confederacy had won there wouldn’t have been the Military example of the Union for the Second and Third Reich to copy.

    If the Union had let go, South Africa would be mostly white. Congo would be 50/50 white black.

    That’s the root of the problem.

  36. If Napoleon had beaten the Czar, Moscow and St Petersburg
    majority Jewish today. Napoleon enflamed Germany into lashing out at all neighbors.

  37. The Nazis wore Grey like the Confederates.

    The Nazis were for White Supremacy like the Confederates.

    This Analogy could go on forever, but I think you can see my point.

    Who do you think came up with Abolition? Who came up with Civil Rights?

    Who started the NAACP, ACLU, etc., etc., etc.? YKW!

  38. No doom. The Nazis bankrupted pre existing White Supremacist Imperial powers.

    Unless I missed it the Belgians, English and French ruled over Africa like gods already. The Nazis ended all that. As stonelifter pointed out the Nazis killed mountains of English, French, Belgians, Dutch, Norwegians, Poles, Ukrainians, Serbs, Greeks, Czechs and Russians.

  39. They did kill their enemies, but who declared War?

    As I remember it, it was the English under Churchill.

    Supposedly to save Poland.

    That worked out well, didn’t it?

    Poland ended up behind the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Empire!

  40. Churchill did no declare war you clown– That was Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain happily ceded Sudetenland to Hitler at Munich and turned a blind eye to Hitler annexing Bohemia. Stanley Baldwin was happy enough for Hitler annex Austria and re militarize the Rhineland. The damnsonofabitch wouldn’t stop.

    Churchill took over right before the Blitzkreig in France. Right after Chamberlsin resigned because he couldn’t stop Germany from taking over Norway.

    At least get time lines, personalities and facts right. Then build a plausable pov from there.

  41. The Nazis killed no more than a few Thousand blacks. tens of millions of Millions of whites. And may or may not have rounded up jews. The tally sheet is not a positive one.

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