Whereas Stevens had gone to Saint-Domingue with "full diplomatic powers, in effect recognizing Toussaint's government," Lear arrived in Saint-Domingue on July 4, 1801 with no such papers, only an ordinary commission. Toussaint immediately reacted to the snub from the U.S. government, which "confirmed (his) suspicion that Jefferson had no intention of regarding him as an equal, nor of supporting the sovereignty of the new state."
By the following day, although still stung, the ever-pragmatic Toussaint accepted the fact that he would be dealing with Lear from then out, and went so far as to state his wish for continued good relationships with the U.S.
Tobias Lear committed suicide in 1816.
- Tobias Lear letter to James Madison - reporting on the first meeting with Toussaint Louverture.
- U.S. Proclamation Regarding Commerce with St. Domingo (1799) - Proclamation by U.S. President John Adams, during the time of Lear's predecessor: Dr. Edward Stevens.
- Public Broadcasting Servic - PBS: Africans in America Part 3
- Tobias Lear: Letter to James Madison, NARA - US National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 59, Miscellaneous Letters
- The Tobias Lear House, Portsmouth, NH