Louis Daure Lamartinière

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Louis Daure Lamartinière was a participant in the Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot. Lamartiniere was a small, thin, man of thirty years who by all appearances was white. He was the illegitimate son of a white father and a sacratras - a quadroon - mother. Lamartiniere's father owned a sugar plantation and refinery near Léogane. He had recognized his mulatto son, but left his property to his legitimate, white son.

Lamartiniere chose the profession of his paternal grandfather, that of a soldier, and enlisted under Rigaud. When the English were driven out, Lamartiniere drove out his half-brother as well and took possession of the family lands.

Lamartiniere was fully aware of the role France played in inflaming the hatred between the mulattos and blacks. More clearly than did Rigaud he understood Hédouville's role in fermenting the War of Knives. Lamartiniere had no great love of Toussaint, but his hatred of the French was greater. Above all he wanted independence for Saint-Domingue and saw Toussaint as the best agent to that end.

The Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot

Lamartiniere, the second in command after Jean-Jacques Dessalines, at the battle of La Crete-a-Pierrot: Lamartinière looked in vain for Dessalines to come forth from the fortress with relief forces but only an old man, pretending to be an idiot, had worked his way through the French forces, to advise Lamartiniere that the fort was to be evacuated that night. After dark, on March 24, 1802, the besieged rebels opened by bayonet a corridor through more than 10,000 French troops. Most escaped to fight another day.

At the beginning of the battle, Toussaint Louverture had addressed the troops: "Children,--yes, you are all my children, from Lamartinière [a mulatto], who is white as a white, but who knows that he has negro blood in his veins, to Monpoint, whose skin is the same as mine,--I intrust to you this post. Take measures for its defence." The officers declared that he might rely on them, living or dead. (Beard p. 190f)

Even the French commanders classified this withdrawal as a remarkable feat of arms. For his role in the defense of Crete-a-Pierrot, Louis Daure Lamartiniere is recognized as another of Haiti's heroes

Source: Heroes of Haiti, and Papa Toussaint Book

References

  • Beard, J. R. (John Relly) (1863). Toussaint L'Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography. Chapel Hill, NC: Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH. Online Publication
  • James, C.L.R. (1989). The Black Jacobins. Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. (2nd Ed., Revised) New York: Vintage Press. ISBN 0-679-72467-2.