Exiles in the United States

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White, Ashli, Columbia University. "Exiles in the United States." The Haitian Revolution: Viewed 200 Years After, an International Scholarly Conference. John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI. June 19, 2004.


Following are rough notes of White's presentation, taken by Stuart Maxwell on June 19, 2004.

  • 10,000 exiles from Saint-Domingue arrived in the US between 1791 and 1804.
  • White Americans thought white exiles were corrupt - how could they be losing in Saint-Domingue?!
  • Exiles' defense of their honor clashed with American ideas of honor.
  • The Atlantic revolutions gave rise to a moral view of military service. Winning a war was less about firepower than the moral rightness of the fight.
  • Americans considered that the refugees suffered from a particular kind of prejudice - one rooted in aristocracy (that word considered a slur).
  • The refugees sought to defend their honor by fiercely slandering and denigrating the black freedom fighters.