Letter by the French Minister of the Marine to the Fort de Joux Commandant (1802)
You should not restrict yourself to what you've done in order to assure yourself that he has neither money nor jewels. You must search everywhere to assure yourself and examine to make sure that he hasn’t hidden or buried any in his prison. Take his watch from him. If this is agreeable to him, this need can be met by establishing in his room one of those cheap clocks that are good enough to show the passing of time. If he is sick, the health officer best known by you must alone care for him and see him, but only when it’s necessary and in your presence, and with the greatest precautions so that these visits don’t in any way go beyond the sphere of what is most indispensable.
The only way Toussaint would have to see his lot improved would be for him to set aside his dissimulation. His personal interests, the religious sentiments with which he should have been penetrated for the expiation of the evil he has done, imposed on him the obligation of truthfulness. But he is far from fulfilling it, and by his continual dissimulation he approaches those who approach him with interest in his lot. You can tell him he can be tranquil concerning the lot of his family; its existence is committed to my care and they want for nothing.
I presume that you have put away from him everything that could bear any relation to a uniform. Toussaint is his name; it’s the only denomination that should be given him. A warm garment, gray or brown, large and comfortable, and a round hat should be his apparel. When he brags of having been a general he does nothing but recall his crimes, his hideous conduct, and his tyranny over Europeans. He merits then, nothing but the most profound contempt for his ridiculous pride.
I salute you.
- Fort de Joux - Toussaint Louverture's place of imprisonment in the French Jura mountains.
- Toussaint letter to Napoléon from Fort de Joux - 1802 letter from Toussaint's cell at Fort de Joux.
- The Last Days Of Toussaint L'Ouverture - account of a 1859 visit to Fort de Joux. Includes: Post-mortem Examination of Toussaint L'Ouverture.
- Theater review: The Lion in Captivity - play dealing with Toussaint Louverture's harsh imprisonment at Fort de Joux.
- To Toussaint Louverture - poem by Wordsworth
- Mars Plaisir - Toussaint's valet who traveled with him into French captivity.