Suzanne Simone Baptiste Louverture
Suzanne Simone Baptiste Louverture (born around 1742 - May 19, 1816 Agen, France) was the wife of Toussaint Louverture. Some sources claim she might have been a relative (perhaps a niece) of Pierre Baptiste, Toussaint's father or godfather. A strong family woman, she was fiercely loyal to and deeply in love with Toussaint.
Her son Placide was adopted by Toussaint Louverture.
Capture by the French in 1802
Toussaint Louverture's family was captured along with him by Leclerc's troops after the deceptions carried out by Brunet and Leclerc (see: Memoir of Toussaint Louverture, Written by Himself).
Having been captured by the French in Saint-Domingue, Madame Toussaint and her children were transported to Bayonne upon arriving in France, There they were placed under the supervision of General Ducos and separated from Toussaint Louverture. (Beard p. 283) Upon landing in Fance in the port of Brest, Toussaint is seperated from his wife and children, he later recounts the French actions towards his family and writes in his memoir: Government should do me more justice: my wife and children have done nothing and have nothing to answer for; they should be sent home to watch over our interests. Gen. Leclerc has occasioned all this evil; but I am at the bottom of a dungeon, unable to justify myself. Government is too just to keep my hands tied, and allow Gen. Leclerc to abuse me thus, without listening to me. (Toussaint L'Ouverture Addition to the Memoirs).
In parting from his servant and secretary Mars Plaisir, Toussaint said the following: "Carry my last farewell to my wife, my children, and my niece. Would I could console thee under this cruel separation: be assured of my friendship and of the remembrance which I shall always preserve of thy services and of thy devotedness." (Beard p. 283)
Madame Louverture, survived her husband and her youngest child Saint-Jean [died 1804 in Agen, France] for several years, without being able to overcome the grief, which was so deep and constant as to undermine her faculties. She died in 1816, in the arms of her sons, Placide and Isaac. (Beard p. 290)
In his biographical notes - Memoir of Toussaint Louverture, Written by Himself 1 - Toussaint writes from Fort de Joux in French captivity, about his wife of many years: "I am separated from all that I hold dearest in the world ...from a dearly-loved wife, who, I fear, separated from me, cannot endure the afflictions which overwhelm her, and from a cherished family, who made the happiness of my life."
Note 1: First published by Saint-Remy in Mémoires de la Vie de Toussaint L'Ouverture. (p. 83)
- List of Toussaint Louverture related pages
- Memoirs of Toussaint Louverture, Written by Himself
- Placide Louverture - Includes a letter by Placide Louverture to his family, written from French captivity.
- Toussaint Louverture letter to Napoléon from onboard the Le Heros - Toussaint Louverture, captured by the troops of Leclerc calls on Napoléon Bonaparte to guarantee the safety of his wife and family.
- Children of Suzanne Simone Baptiste Louverture:
- Beard, J. R. (John Relly) (1863). Toussaint L'Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography. Chapel Hill, NC: Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH. Online Publication
- Parkinson, Wenda (1978). This Gilded African. London: Quartet Books. ISBN 0-7043-2187-4
- Saint-Remy. (1850). Mémoires de la Vie de Toussaint L'Ouverture. Paris.