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May 2o



1743—Touissant L’Ouverture, the father of Haitian independence, is born. Although he was not part of the initial disturbances, L’Ouverture was quickly drafted into leadership of the 1791 Slave Revolt. He converted the random burnings of plantations and killings of unlucky Whites into a full scale revolution against slavery on the island. Under his leadership, the slaves were organized into an effective fighting force which would go on to defeat the British army and the greatest conqueror of the period, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte. Indeed, L’Ouverture’s fighting might was indirectly responsible for the growth of America. Desperate to raise money to fight the Haitians, Napoleon sold the massive Louisiana territory to America at an amazingly low price. L’Ouverture was tricked into attending a phony “peace conference” in France. Once there he was jailed. But the leadership void was immediately filled by one of his lieutenants—Jean Jacques Dessalines who would complete the revolution started by L’Ouverture. Haiti became independent in 1804.

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