23 Facts About Saint-Domingue


Saint-Domingue quickly came to overshadow the previous colony in both wealth and population.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,614

Saint-Domingue encouraged the planting of tobacco, which turned a population of buccaneers and freebooters, who had not acquiesced to royal authority until 1660, into a sedentary population.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,615

The people of the eastern part of Saint-Domingue were opposed to the arrangements and hostile toward the French.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,616

Saint-Domingue became known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" – one of the richest colonies in the world in the 18th-century French empire.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,617

Saint-Domingue had the largest and wealthiest free population of color in the Caribbean; they were known as the gens de couleur .

FactSnippet No. 1,055,618

Saint-Domingue gradually increased its reliance on indentured servants and by 1789 about 6 percent of all white Saint Dominicans were employed as labor on plantations along with slaves.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,619

Many of the indentured servants in Saint-Domingue were German settlers or Acadian refugees who had been deported by the British from old Acadia during the French and Indian war.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,620

Thousands of slaves escaped into the mountains of Saint-Domingue, forming communities of maroons and raiding isolated plantations.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,621

Saint-Domingue preached a radical vision of killing the white population of Saint-Domingue.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,622

Saint-Domingue was a French Girondist and abolitionist during the French Revolution, and closely associated with the Societe des amis des Noirs .

FactSnippet No. 1,055,623

Sonthonax believed that all of Saint-Domingue's whites were Bourbon royalist or rebel separatist conservatives attached to independence or joining Spain.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,624

Saint-Domingue stripped away all of the military power of the white Saint Dominicans, and by doing so, he alienated them from the Republican government.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,625

Saint-Domingue believed that Saint-Domingue would need slave soldiers among the ranks of the colonial army if it was to survive.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,626

Saint-Domingue created a new civil code; the French Civil Code of Napoleon affirmed the political and legal equality of all adult men; it established a merit-based society in which individuals advanced in education and employment because of talent rather than birth or social standing.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,627

Louverture as Saint-Domingue's Governor-General-for-life enacted forced plantation labor to prevent the collapse of the Saint Dominican economy.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,628

Many of Saint-Domingue's whites fled the island during the Saint Dominican Civil War.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,629

Saint-Domingue gave property settlements and indemnities for war time losses, and promised equal treatment in his new Saint-Domingue; a good number of white Saint Dominican refugees did return.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,630

The refugees who came back to Saint-Domingue and believed in Toussaint Louverture's rule were later exterminated by Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,631

Saint-Domingue's atrocities helped rally many former French loyalists to the Haitian rebel cause.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,632

In 1804, all remaining whites in Saint-Domingue were slaughtered and massacred wholesale under the orders of Dessalines.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,633

Saint-Domingue decreed that all those suspected of conspiring in the acts of the expeditionary army should be put to death, including Creoles of color and freed slaves deemed traitors to Dessalines' regime.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,634

Saint-Domingue's forces were strict in enforcing this, to the extent that some black subjects felt they were enslaved again.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,635

The name of Saint-Domingue was changed to Hayti when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of all Hispaniola from the French in 1804.

FactSnippet No. 1,055,636