1791 is the year of the vodou ceremonies at Bois Caïman and the start of the Boukman Rebellion. And Michel Etienne Descourtilz gives a French version of the events in the History of the Disasters in Saint-Domingue. It is in that year that many of the important figures of the Haitian Revolution join together and begin the fight for freedom from slavery.
In 1791 the French Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse 1, who had just been given the command of the frigate La Prudente, was sent on a mission to transport French troops to Saint-Domingue. Arriving shortly before the breakout of the Boukman Rebellion that launched the Haitian Revolution, he then helped governor Blanchelande to transport troops around the French colony.
- The mulatto rebel Vincent Ogé was executed by the French on February 6 after a failed revolt in the Fall of 1790.
- On February 23 Jean Baptiste Chavannes, who had fought in the American Revolution and later with Ogé, is executed after having been tortured.
- Honoré Gabriel Riqueti de Mirabeau a co-founder of the anti-slavery society Société des Amis des Noirs, dies in Paris on April 2.
- On May 15, the French legislature passed racial reforms urged by Julien Raimond, giving wealthy free-born men of color (affranchis) the right to vote in the colonies.
- On June 8 Henri Grégoire, the influential member of the French abolitionist group Société des Amis des Noirs, wrote a letter to the Citizens of Color and Free Negroes of Saint-Domingue.
- Dutty Boukman and Cécile Fatiman lead the vodou ceremony at Bois Caïman on August 14. This sparks the Boukman Rebellion and also marks the start of the Haitian Revolution.
- On October 15 Toussaint Louverture has joined the revolution and writes this letter to Georges Biassou.
- The French Commissioners Ignace-Frédéric de Mirbeck, Saint-Léger and Philippe-Rose Roume de Saint-Laurent arrived in Saint-Domingue on November 29, 1791.
Note 1: In December of 1802, Villaret de Joyeuse commanded the fleet of ships sailing from the French port of Brest to re-establish slavery in Saint-Domingue. The Brest Fleet carried the bulk of the French forces under General Leclerc. Villaret de Joyeuse was also politically active and campaigned vehemently against the emancipation of slaves.
- Wipedia contributors (2006). Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:31, April 21, 2006 .