Why The Louverture Project
The Louverture Project is named for Toussaint Louverture, the leading figure of the Haitian Revolution of 1791--1804. Louverture's remarkable military and political accomplishments during the period of that country's march to freedom are an inspiring example; yet, sadly, his story is virtually unknown outside of the Caribbean. It is hoped that this site will inspire new audiences to want to learn more about this fascinating period of history.
The Louverture Project is an extension of the work of Milton Beckerman, an amateur historian who became fascinated with the story of Toussaint Louverture and the challenge of bringing the man's accomplishments wider recognition. The site is currently being developed and maintained by Beckerman's grandson Stuart Maxwell with the support of a generous posthumous endowment.
L'ouverture is French for "the opening," and the metaphoric overtones for the site's name should be obvious. The wiki aims to be a portal to knowledge, information, and understanding relating to the Haitian Revolution. For his part, Toussaint officially adopted the name L'ouverture (he dropped the apostrophe in short order) after it became his nickname among his troops. The appellation was either in reference to his skill at finding advantage on the battlefield or to the gap in his smile caused when a spent bullet hit him in the mouth. Or both.