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1787 < 1788 > 1789

Honoré Mirabeau, one of the co-founders (in 1788) of the Amis des Noirs.
1788 portrait of the British abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.
In 1788 the population of Saint-Domingue consisted of 42,000 whites, 38,000 slaves and 8000 plantations. The military forces consisted of 5,000 men. 80,000 sailors were engaged in trade. "St. Domingue, the Pearl of the Antilles, produced and exported more sugar than the entire British West Indies put together." (Parkinson, p. 22)

Alexandre Pétion, the the Haitian affranchis, military officer and later President of the Republic of Haiti was sent to France in 1788 to study at the Military Academy (Ecole Militaire) in Paris.

In 1788 the colonial planter Le Jeune successfully defends himself against charges of burning two female slave's legs. (Parkinson, p. 20).


Amis des Noirs Seal.
On February 19 - a little over a year before the start of the French Revolution - the abolitionist society Société des Amis des Noirs was founded in Paris to extend to France the growing European movement to address slavery.