Wanting to protect equality and the freedom of slaves from any attempts on it by Napoléon Bonaparte, Toussaint Louverture had a constitution written for Saint-Domingue, something the Emperor never forgave him for. When the 1801 constitution was sent to France the following letter accompanied it. (Bonaparte reportedly never replied to any of Toussaint Louverture's letters.)
27 Messidor, Year IX [July 16, 1801]
- Citizen Consul:
- The minister of the Marine 1, in the account he gave you of the political situation of this colony, which I devoted myself to making known to him, should have submitted to you my proclamation of last 16 Pluviose [February 5, 1801] on the convocation of a Central Assembly, which would be able to set the destiny of Saint-Domingue through wise laws modeled on the mores of its inhabitants. I today have the satisfaction of announcing to you that the final touch has just been put to this work. I hasten to send it to you in order to have your approval and the sanction of my government.
- Given the absence of laws, and the Central Assembly having requested to have this constitution provisionally executed, which will more quickly lead it to its future prosperity, I have surrendered to its wishes. This constitution was received by all classes of citizens with transports of joy that will not fail to be reproduced when it will be sent back bearing the sanction of the government.
- Greetings and profound respect.
- [signed: Toussaint Louverture]
Source: Schoelcher, Victor (1889). Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paris: Paul Ollendorf. (Available online: Google books) 1882 reprint: Karthala. Paris ISBN 2-86537-043-7
Translated by Mitch Abidor marxists.org
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.
Note 1: Minister of Marine and the Colonies Pierre Alexandre Laurent Forfait, he had the position from November 22, 1799 to October 3, 1801.
- Schoelcher, Victor (1889). Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paris: Paul Ollendorf. (Available online: Google books) 1882 reprint: Karthala. Paris ISBN 2-86537-043-7
- List of Naval Ministers of France. (2005, September 22). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:50, December 13, 2005 from .