Atlantic History Napoléon Bonaparte and the Atlantic World
by
Philippe R. Girard
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 August 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0317

Introduction

Napoléon Bonaparte (b. 1769–d. 1821), also known as Napoléon I after his 1804 coronation, served as general, first consul, and emperor of France during the era of the French Revolution. Though he is best known for his military exploits on the battlefields of Europe and his political reforms in revolutionary France, he took a keen interest in France’s colonial holdings, particularly in the Caribbean and North America. To that effect, he outfitted several large colonial expeditions, most notably during the period of the Peace of Amiens (1802–1803), when the French navy briefly regained access to French colonies overseas. His goals were generally in line with those of the Old Regime: to enforce direct French control over colonial agents, to impose mercantilist trade restrictions over French merchants and planters, to promote plantation agriculture, and to threaten strategic rivals such as Great Britain. Restoring slavery, which France had abolished in 1794, was also a goal in colonies like Guadeloupe, French Guiana (Guyane), and possibly Saint-Domingue (Haiti). Despite a notable investment in time, men, and treasure, Napoléon’s policies were generally a failure: Great Britain remained dominant on the seas, Napoléon sold the territory of Louisiana to the United States in 1803, and Saint-Domingue declared its independence in 1804. In the long run, his involvement in the restoration of slavery in parts of the French colonial empire in 1802–1803 also tarnished his reputation in France and the Caribbean, particularly as scholarly interest in the field of Atlantic history grew in the 1990s and modern historians revisited Napoléon’s policies in the context of the bicentennial of the French and Haitian Revolutions. By 2005, Napoléon’s reputation was so tainted that French president Jacques Chirac decided not to celebrate the bicentennial of his greatest triumph at Austerlitz. Instead, two of Napoléon’s main Atlantic victims, Toussaint Louverture of Saint-Domingue and Louis Delgrès of Guadeloupe, were honored with a plaque in the Paris Panthéon for their role in the struggle for emancipation, in an indirect indictment of Napoléon’s Atlantic policies.

General Overviews

The historiography on Napoléon’s involvement in the Atlantic World went through three distinct phases. The first wave of works, which coincided with or immediately followed Napoléon’s reign as first consul and emperor, was part of a larger debate within France over slavery and racial discrimination. It pitted liberal supporters of the French Revolution’s egalitarian ideals against advocates of the more conservative policies adopted by Napoléon in 1802. The second phase, which lasted until the 1980s, was marked by relative neglect: experts on Napoléon and the French Revolution generally ignored his colonial policies altogether, so the few publications on the topic were authored by scholars from the Caribbean (particularly Haiti), who criticized Napoléon for forsaking abolition, and by French colonial historians, who were more sympathetic but belonged to a field that was out of fashion among professional historians. The third phase coincided with the bicentennial celebrations of the French and Haitian Revolutions in the 1990s and 2000s: scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in the United States and France, revisited this forgotten corner of Napoleonic history, which was now examined as part of the burgeoning field of Atlantic history so as to situate Napoléon’s policies within larger debates over race and the Enlightenment.

Early Politicized Overviews

The earliest works on Napoléon’s Atlantic policies appeared during or shortly after his political career. Works like Lattre 1805 and Norvins 1896, written by authors who had personally participated in the events that they covered, were well informed and are still used as primary sources today, but they tended to cast a positive light on the French colonial record so as to restore the reputation of the officers who had participated in Napoléon’s expeditions. This first wave of publications was intensely political: the abolition of slavery instituted under a 1794 law was far from a settled matter, so authors of works such as Carteau 1802 wrote about ongoing events with the overt goal of influencing the policies of Napoléon. On one side stood defendants of the revolutionary reforms, like Henri Grégoire, who presented the abolition of slavery as an economic and strategic success (Grégoire 1808). On the other stood more conservative authors, such as Jean-Louis Dubroca, who accused black colonial agents of being treacherous stooges of Great Britain or even called for an outright restoration of slavery (Dubroca 1802). The historiographical debate continued after Napoléon’s downfall, when advocates of slavery like Antoine Dalmas urged the restored Bourbons to recolonize Haiti (Dalmas 1814), while Haitian scholars like Baron de Vastey denounced the French colonial record to justify Haiti’s right to exist as a nation (Vastey 1818).

  • Carteau, Félix. Soirées bermudiennes, ou entretiens sur les événemens qui ont opéré la ruine de la partie française de l’isle Saint-Domingue. Bordeaux, France: Pellier-Lawalle, 1802.

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    This account of the early years of the Haitian Revolution was highly critical of the French revolutionaries who allegedly ruined a prosperous colony by abolishing slavery. Carteau concluded his book with a chapter on the need to restore slavery that was overtly intended to influence Napoléon, who was in the process of revisiting French colonial policies at the time.

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    • Dalmas, Antoine. Histoire de la révolution de Saint-Domingue. 2 vols. Paris: Mame Frères, 1814.

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      Like Carteau 1802, Dalmas focused on the early part of the Haitian Revolution and lamented the abolition of slavery. But he held off on publishing his book for two decades because he did not see Napoléon’s regime as a “legitimate government” (Vol. 1, p. ii). Instead, he waited until the Restoration with the avowed goal of convincing the new Bourbon regime to reinvade Haiti and restore slavery.

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      • Dubroca, Jean-Louis. La vie de Toussaint-Louverture, chef des noirs insurgés de Saint-Domingue. Paris: Dubroca, 1802.

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        Dubroca’s highly critical biography of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture appeared in 1802, just as Napoléon removed him from office. Numerous works on colonial matters were published that year in France when it became clear that Napoléon was focusing his attention on the fate of France’s overseas holdings. Dubroca timed the publication of his biography to support Napoléon’s “pacifying” projects (p. 2).

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        • Grégoire, Henri. De la littérature des nègres. Paris: Maradan, 1808.

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          Grégoire, France’s most celebrated abolitionist of the revolutionary era, published this book in 1808, at a time when the limitations of Napoléon’s Atlantic policies had become clear. Because of his personal stature and the failure of the Leclerc expedition, Grégoire could afford to push back against the racial policies of Napoléon and, more generally, refute the notion that blacks were racially inferior (see Racial Views and Deportations).

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          • Lattre, Philippe-Albert de. Campagne des Français à Saint-Domingue et réfutation des reproches faits au Capitaine-Général Rochambeau. Paris: Locard, 1805.

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            Written by a veteran of the Leclerc expedition to Saint-Domingue, the book defended Napoléon’s attempt to restore old racial hierarchies in the colonies. De Lattre’s other goal was more specific: to convince Napoléon to rehabilitate Donatien de Rochambeau, one of the expedition’s generals, whom Napoléon had blamed for the failure of the expedition.

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            • Norvins, Jacques de. Souvenirs d’un historien de Napoléon: Mémorial de J. de Norvins. 3 vols. Paris: Plon, 1896.

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              Written by a veteran of the Leclerc expedition to Saint-Domingue, the book attempted to rehabilitate the memory of its participants, who were accused (rightly) of committing atrocities by authors such as Henri Grégoire (Grégoire 1808). For other accounts by veterans, see A. P. M. Laujon, Précis historique de la dernière expédition de Saint-Domingue (Paris: Delafolie, 1805) and Lacroix 1819 (cited under the Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti)).

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              • Vastey, Baron de. Political Remarks on Some French Works and Newspapers. London: unspecified, 1818.

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                Written by the court historian of King Henry Christophe of Haiti, this work was designed to push back against the many defenses of Napoléon’s racial policies published by colonial veterans in France, as well as calls for the recolonization of Haiti (such as Dalmas 1814). Vastey recounted the horrific crimes committed by French colonizers in the Caribbean and insisted on the ability of black Haitians to govern themselves.

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                Historiographical Neglect

                Interest in Napoléon’s life and policies did not vanish with his death in 1821: Estimates for the number of articles and books about his career range as high as 100,000. But, as noted in Hoffmann 2009, most works on Napoléon, such as Mowat 1971, focused on the military campaigns he led throughout Europe and the political reforms he instituted in France, while his naval and colonial ambitions, which had preoccupied him greatly during his lifetime, were generally ignored. In this context of historiographical neglect, only three groups of historians consistently broached the topic. The first were historians from the Caribbean, like Beaubrun Ardouin (Ardouin 1853–1860), who wanted to keep alive the achievements of the revolutionary era and used Napoléon’s controversial restoration of slavery as a proxy for a more general indictment of racism and colonialism, both of which were still very much alive until the second abolition of slavery in French colonies in 1848 and the onset of decolonization in the 1950s. Twentieth-century black nationalists in the 20th century, such as like C. L. R. James (James 1938) and Aimé Césaire (Césaire 1981) also studied the French revolutionary period as a vehicle for their larger political agenda. The second group were Toussaint Louverture’s many devotees on both sides of the Atlantic, like Joseph Saint-Rémy, whose hagiographical works (Saint-Rémy 1850) typically indicted the person responsible for Louverture’s downfall, namely Napoléon. With the development of trendier historiographical schools like Fernand Braudel’s longue durée and Michel Foucault’s postmodernism, as well as the independence of most remaining French colonies in the 1950s and 1960s, the field of colonial history fell out of favor and was seen as a backwater for traditionalists and nostalgists of French imperialism. The few historians within metropolitan France who continued to explore the era, such as Gabriel Debien (Debien 1981) and particularly Henri Castonnet des Fosses (Castonnet des Fosses 1893), embraced a traditional approach that did not challenge the premises of French imperialism.

                • Ardouin, Beaubrun. Études sur l’histoire d’Haïti suivies de la vie du général J. M. Borgella. 11 vols. Paris: Dézobry, Magdeleine, 1853–1860.

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                  Ardouin’s tomes celebrated the achievements of mixed-race Haitian founding fathers while dismissing those of black revolutionary leaders. On one point, however, all Haitians could agree: Ardouin accused Napoléon of plotting to restore slavery to appease white planters (including his first wife) and vividly recounted atrocities committed by the first consul’s troops. For another classic Haitian work, see Thomas Madiou, Histoire d’Haïti, 3 vols. (Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Courtois, 1847–1848).

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                  • Castonnet des Fosses, Henri. La perte d’une colonie: La révolution de Saint-Domingue. Paris: Faivre, 1893.

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                    Castonnet des Fosses depicted the French record in the Caribbean in glowing terms: “The colonization of this land [Haiti] was one of the glories of France” (p. v). He explained that, by doing so, he hoped to encourage French policymakers to acquire a second colonial empire in Africa and Asia. The author faulted Napoléon only for his strategic mistakes while trying to restore French authority in the Caribbean, not for the racist agenda that underpinned his policies.

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                    • Césaire, Aimé. Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1981.

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                      Though ostensibly presented as a biography of Toussaint Louverture (who only appeared two-thirds into the book), Aimé Césaire’s work was mostly an indictment of French colonial policies during the revolutionary and Napoleonic era. A black nationalist from Martinique who frequently quoted Karl Marx and Lenin, Césaire described Napoléon as the unreconstructed heir to the Old Regime policies of racism, imperialism, and mercantilism.

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                      • Debien, Gabriel. Guillaume Mauviel, évêque constitutionnel de Saint-Domingue, 1801–1805. Basse Terre: Société d’Histoire de la Guadeloupe, 1981.

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                        Debien published countless articles on France’s lost American colonial empire at a time when the topic attracted little interest in metropolitan France. Like many of his works, Debien’s opus on the colonial bishop Guillaume Mauviel, who was appointed by Napoléon, was antiquarian: he said little of the larger implications for Napoléon’s colonial policies, instead taking French imperialism as a given as he explored the lives of white bureaucrats and planters.

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                        • Hoffmann, Léon-François. “Representations of the Haitian Revolution in French Literature.” In The World of the Haitian Revolution. Edited by David Geggus and Norman Fiering, 339–351. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

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                          Hoffmann showed that 19th-century French authors generally avoided Napoléon’s colonial policies because France, still holding on to some Caribbean possessions while expanding in sub-Saharan Africa, wished to bury memories of a more idealistic age. See also Michel Martin and André Cabanis, “Ignorance et malentendus: L’indépendance d’Haïti devant l’opinion en France sous le Consulat et l’Empire,” in La révolution française et Haïti: Filiations, ruptures, nouvelles dimensions, Vol. 2, edited by Michel Hector (Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Henri Deschamps, 1991), pp. 358–374.

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                          • James, C. L. R. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. New York: Dial, 1938.

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                            James, a black Marxist from Trinidad, portrayed Toussaint Louverture as a tragically flawed revolutionary and his foe Napoléon as a reactionary tool of the slave-owning planters. Despite its ideological bent, James’s work was well researched in French and British archives and did much to spark interest in Napoléon’s colonial policies in the English-speaking world, where The Black Jacobins remains a classic. Revised in 1963 (New York: Random House).

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                            • Mowat, Robert B. The Diplomacy of Napoleon. 2d ed. New York: Russell and Russell, 1971.

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                              Originally published in 1924. Mowat’s work is typical of countless other scholarly works on Napoléon in the 19th and 20th centuries. Though well researched and comprehensive, it includes virtually nothing about the Atlantic policies of Napoléon, aside from listing the colonies that changed hands as part of the peace treaties of 1802, 1814, and 1815.

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                              • Saint-Rémy, Joseph. Vie de Toussaint-L’Ouverture. Paris: Moquet, 1850.

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                                The achievements of Louverture were generally overlooked in the decades that followed his death, until Saint-Rémy, a black native of Guadeloupe who later obtained Haitian citizenship, published this work. Saint-Rémy’s biography, like later ones published in France, the United States, and Haiti, ends with the epic and tragic clash between France’s first consul and the man often described as the “black Napoléon.”

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                                Modern Atlantic Approaches

                                Several factors coalesced in the late 20th century to breathe new life into the study of Napoléon’s colonial policies. The first was the development in the United States of the concept of Atlantic history, which rebranded colonial history, once a historiographical backwater, as a cutting-edge technique through which to explore themes like slavery and the Enlightenment. Though early pioneers, in works such as Bailyn 2005, focused on the English-speaking world, the field branched out to the French Atlantic as it matured, in part at the behest of Michel Rolph-Trouillot (Rolph-Trouillot 1995). Scholars, in works such as Landers 2010, have also embraced transnational biographies. The Caribbean, which was the focal point of Atlantic commerce in the 18th century, suddenly attracted young, ambitious scholars; this is particularly true of Saint-Domingue, the richest European possession in the Caribbean and the site of the only successful slave revolt, as well as its tragic twin, Guadeloupe, where Napoléon managed to restore slavery; both are covered in Dubois 2004. Meanwhile, in France, the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989 sparked renewed interest by scholars, in works such as Bénot 1992, who were more willing than their forebears to examine the limitations of that revolution when it came to racial equality. By the early years of the 21st century, as shown in Dwyer 2008, the ongoing bicentennial celebrations led to a sharp focus on Napoléon’s role in the 1802 restoration of slavery and his dishonorable involvement in the Haitian war of independence. Works, such as Chin, et al. 2004, are often highly critical of Napoléon.

                                • Bailyn, Bernard. Atlantic History: Concepts and Contours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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                                  Bailyn, a professor at Harvard University, is generally credited with creating the field of Atlantic history, along with Jack P. Greene from Johns Hopkins University. Both tend to overemphasize the English-speaking Atlantic, particularly the American Revolution, at the expense of other notable developments, such as the French and Haitian Revolutions. This fact is also true of this book, even though it was published in 2005 at a time when the field had expanded beyond its earlier Anglo-American confines.

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                                  • Bénot, Yves. La démence coloniale sous Napoléon. Paris: La Découverte, 1992.

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                                    Bénot’s work investigated Napoléon’s long-forgotten Atlantic policies through a modern, anti-colonial political sensibility. Bénot covered not only the famous expeditions to Saint-Domingue and Guadeloupe in 1802, which tend to dominate the historiography, but also the numerous projects aimed at India, Algeria, and Louisiana (to name a few) from 1799 to 1815. Most were unrealistic and never went beyond the planning stage, hence the reference to Napoléon’s “colonial dementia” in the book’s title.

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                                    • Chin, Pat, Edwidge Danticat, Frederick Douglass, Ben Dupuy, and Paul Laraque, eds. Haiti: A Slave Revolution 200 Years after 1804. New York: International Action Center, 2004.

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                                      Chin’s edited collection, one of many works timed to coincide with the bicentennial of Haiti’s independence, is of low scholarly quality but is representative of the continued political nature of the field: it was meant to “promote solidarity with the continuing Haitian Revolution” and to “combat 200 years of racist indoctrination and propaganda about the Haitian Revolution” (p. v). In the same vein, see Wiener Kerns Fleurimond, Haïti, 1804–2004: Le bicentenaire d’une révolution oubliée (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2005).

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                                      • Dubois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

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                                        Dubois’s book is often used as a point of entry for English-speaking scholars who wish to familiarize themselves with the French revolutionary Atlantic before and under Napoléon. Dubois’s main argument was to treat events in French colonies as central to Enlightenment-era debates on the rights of man rather than as an afterthought. In this context, Napoléon’s betrayal of the cause of abolition in 1802 was exemplary of his betrayal of the French Revolution. On Guadeloupe, see also Dubois 2004 (cited under the Restoration of Slavery).

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                                        • Dwyer, Philip. “Remembering and Forgetting in Contemporary France: Napoleon, Slavery, and the French History Wars.” French Politics, Culture, and Society 26.3 (Winter 2008): 115–116.

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                                          Dwyer explored the intensely political nature of the bicentennial of Napoléon’s reign in France, where the National Assembly passed several laws guiding how colonialism and the slave trade should be researched and taught. On these controversies, see also Ribbe 2005 (cited under Racial Views and Deportations).

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                                          • Landers, Jane. Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.

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                                            In reaction to the top-down nature of revolutionary studies denounced by the author of Rolph-Trouillot 1995, scholars like Landers have chosen to examine lesser-known figures, also known as “Atlantic creoles” in the terminology of Ira Berlin. Such biographical works added complexity to a field long marred by one-sided storytelling: instead of being idealistic revolutionaries, Landers noted, many black and mixed-race rebels were multifaceted figures who occasionally embraced reactionary policies similar to those of Napoléon.

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                                            • Rolph-Trouillot, Michel. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.

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                                              Along with James 1938 (cited under Historiographical Neglect) and Dubois 2004, Silencing the Past convinced English-language academics to finally pay attention to events in France’s colonies. Rolph-Trouillot noted that even assiduous researchers were subconsciously influenced by the authors of archival documents: “Papers and monographs take the tone of plantation records. Analyses of the revolution recall the letters of a La Barre, the pamphlets of French politicians, the messages of Leclerc to Bonaparte” (p. 106).

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                                              Primary Sources and Archival Collections

                                              Researchers eager to explore the colonial policies of Napoléon Bonaparte face two major issues. First, the documentary record is heavily weighted toward the dominant classes, who predominantly favored plantation agriculture. This is less true of Haiti, where the success of the slave revolt led to the rise of powerful, literate people of color, and yet, as shown in Rolph-Trouillot 1995 (cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches), successful black generals were often less radical than the voiceless rank-and-file fieldworkers. The second hurdle is access: sources are many but they are dispersed in multiple collections on either side of the Atlantic. Thankfully, the appearance of Digitized Archival Collections, the availability of Published Letters and Memoirs, and better access to Early Imprints is increasingly facilitating the work of researchers.

                                              Digitized Archival Collections

                                              By their very nature, the Atlantic policies of Napoléon are difficult to research because archival resources are spread far and wide. Many documents, particularly those in the Archives Nationales d’Outremer that pertain to Napoléon’s decision-making process must be consulted in person (Favier 1978–1988 is the most useful finding aid), though thankfully most letters, instructions, and memoirs by Napoléon are available in print (see Published Letters and Memoirs). But archival collections at the Archives Nationales d’Outremer offer a richer and wider selection pertaining to French colonial agents, those at Portal de Archivos Españoles (PARES) and the British National Archives document the role of France’s rivals in Spain and Britain, respectively, the Digital Library of the Caribbean and the John Carter Brown Library: Haiti Collection (cited under Early Imprints) provide access to some of the archives of former French colonies in the Caribbean, and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database helps retrace the fate of the victims of the Atlantic slave trade.

                                              • Archives Nationales d’Outremer.

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                                                Many archival collections of the French colonial archives in Aix-en-Provence are accessible online. This is particularly true of the baptismal and notarial records in the archives, as well as individual personnel files of various colonial agents.

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                                                • British National Archives.

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                                                  The archives of Napoléon’s main foe help understand why his Atlantic policies failed. Most useful are the ADM series (admiralty), WO series (war office), and CO series (colonial office) that are housed in Kew, England. Duplicates and other colonial records are also accessible in the national archives of former colonies like Jamaica.

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                                                  • Digital Library of the Caribbean.

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                                                    The Digital Library of the Caribbean is a collaborative effort that grants access to a hodgepodge of collections from various Caribbean archives, including those of Haiti.

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                                                    • Favier, Jean, ed. Les Archives nationales: État général des fonds. 5 vols. Paris: Archives Nationales, 1978–1988.

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                                                      The Archives Nationales contain extensive collections that illuminate Napoléon’s decision-making process, but very few of them have been digitized. Favier’s general finding aid is a useful point of entry, particularly Volume 3 (Marine et outre-mer). To consult more detailed finding aids, original documents, and microfilmed collections (including the extensive C series of colonial correspondence), researchers must visit the Archives Nationales in Paris and Pierrefitte-sur-Seine. The army and navy sections of the Service historique de la Défense in Vincennes also house essential colonial records.

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                                                      • Portal de Archivos Españoles (PARES).

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                                                        Many original documents from Spanish archives, including some from the extensive colonial collections housed in Seville and Simancas, are available digitally through the digital portal PARES. Most useful are the records of the colonies of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Louisiana, both of which Napoléon briefly obtained from Spain before losing control (see the Louisiana Purchase and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)).

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                                                        • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

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                                                          This extensive database, which contains information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages to French and other colonies, is fully searchable online. Records on the Napoleonic era are comparatively few, reflecting the sharp decline of the French plantation system, even after Napoléon restored slavery in some colonies in 1802. On the French slave trade, see also Daget 1971 (cited under the Restoration of Slavery) and David Geggus, “The French Slave Trade: An Overview,” William and Mary Quarterly 58.1 (January 2001): 119–138.

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                                                          Published Letters and Memoirs

                                                          Multiple personal accounts of Napoléon’s thinking on colonial matters have survived, particularly regarding the period 1799–1803, when the fate of France’s overseas possessions preoccupied him greatly. They provide valuable information on a key historiographical question (what prompted Napoléon to renege on the principle of abolition in 1802?); however, they must be read with some caution. Accounts written during his reign tend to be sycophantic, like Girard 2014, for fear of upsetting the powerful ruler of France; Napoléon’s personal magnetism also influenced accounts like Métral 1825. Accounts published after his downfall were often designed to shift the blame for the disastrous outcome of Napoléon’s Atlantic policies, particularly Bonaparte 1823, de las Cases 1956, and Vallée 1903a. More valuable are official letters and instructions drafted as events were unfolding, such as Lentz 2004–2018 and Roussier 1937. Personal memoirs by individuals who met Napoléon at crucial moments of the decision-making process, notably Roederer 1942 and Vallée 1903b, are also revealing.

                                                          • Bonaparte, Napoléon. Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de France sous Napoléon. London: Martin Bossange, 1823.

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                                                            In St. Helena, Napoléon explained that he initially thought of aligning himself with black generals. He changed his mind only when he became convinced that Saint-Domingue was on a path to independence, and even then planned on maintaining emancipation in some colonies. According to Napoléon, his agents on the ground were responsible for the failure of the Saint-Domingue expedition because they did not faithfully implement his instructions. For a similar argument, see de las Cases 1956.

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                                                            • de las Cases, Emmanuel. Le Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène. 2 vols. Paris: Gallimard, 1956.

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                                                              As in Bonaparte 1823, Napoléon claimed in St. Helena that he reluctantly sent expeditions to the Caribbean in 1802 only because of the “yelping of the colonists” (p. 769) and that the expeditions would have succeeded had his brother-in-law General Leclerc followed to the letter his instructions, which are reproduced in Roussier 1937. Either way, he judged, “the colonial system we once knew is now over” and free trade was bound to prevail (p. 770).

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                                                              • Girard, Philippe. The Memoir of General Toussaint Louverture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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                                                                After he was jailed by Napoléon in 1802–1803, Toussaint Louverture drafted a handwritten petition to the first consul. It defended his record before and during the Leclerc expedition in the hope that Napoléon would release him (he did not). The memoir was deferential toward Napoléon, who held Louverture’s fate in his hands, but Louverture occasionally implied that Napoléon had turned against him due to racial prejudices. This edition included the original in creolized French and an English translation.

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                                                                • Lentz, Thierry, ed. Napoléon Bonaparte: Correspondance générale. 15 vols. Paris: Fayard, 2004–2018.

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                                                                  Letters written during Napoléon’s reign are more helpful than later justifications like Bonaparte 1823 and de las Cases 1956. Volumes 2–4 indicate that he paid great attention to colonial matters in 1799–1803, constantly assembling and canceling expeditions as his thinking evolved. Growing concern about the independent streak of black generals featured most prominently. This authoritative edition superseded Jean-Baptiste Vaillant, ed., Correspondance de Napoléon Ier, publiée par ordre de l’empereur Napoléon III, 32 vols. (Paris: Plon, 1858).

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                                                                  • Métral, Antoine. Histoire de l’expédition des français à Saint-Domingue sous le consulat de Napoléon Bonaparte, 1802–1803: Suivie des mémoires et notes d’Isaac L’ouverture. Paris: Fanjat, 1825.

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                                                                    Métral’s book reproduces a surprisingly glowing account by Louverture’s son Isaac of his encounter with Napoléon on the eve of the expedition. The original is housed at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (NAF 12409). Additional recollections by Isaac Louverture were published in Philippe Girard and Jean-Louis Donnadieu, “Mon père, ce héros: Toussaint Louverture d’après un manuscrit inédit de son fils Isaac,” Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire de la Guadeloupe 181–182 (2018): 51–86.

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                                                                    • Roederer, Pierre-Louis. Mémoires sur la Révolution, le Consulat et l’Empire. Paris: Plon, 1942.

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                                                                      Roederer, who had frequent conversations with the first consul, remembered that, as late as 1800, Napoléon still thought of maintaining emancipation in some colonies like Saint-Domingue so as to employ freedmen in a strategic offensive against British colonies. “They will make less sugar, maybe, than when they were slaves, but they will make it for us and will serve us, if need be, as soldiers” (p. 132).

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                                                                      • Roussier, Paul, ed. Lettres du général Leclerc, commandant en chef de l’armée de Saint-Domingue en 1802. Bibliothèque d’histoire coloniale. Paris: Société de l’Histoire des Colonies Françaises, 1937.

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                                                                        Letters written by Victoire (or Victor) Leclerc, Napoléon’s brother-in-law and the general who oversaw the ill-fated 1802 expedition to Saint-Domingue, were unusually heartfelt and moody, reflecting Leclerc’s ambivalence with his mission. Napoléon’s original instructions to Leclerc are included in this volume.

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                                                                        • Vallée, Léon, ed. Memoirs of the Empress Joséphine. 2 vols. New York: Merrill and Baker, 1903a.

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                                                                          Napoléon’s first wife Joséphine, who was born to a family of planters in Martinique, is often blamed for her husband’s decision to restore slavery in the French Caribbean. In her memoirs, she adamantly rejected that notion; rather, she urged Napoléon to maintain an uneasy alliance with Toussaint Louverture and other black generals. Her surviving letters ignored colonial issues altogether; see Bernard Chevallier, Maurice Catinat, and Christophe Pincemaille, eds., Impératrice Joséphine: Correspondance, 1782–1814 (Paris, Payot, 1996).

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                                                                          • Vallée, Léon, ed. Memoirs of Fouché. 2 vols. New York: Merrill and Baker, 1903b.

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                                                                            According to the memoirs by Napoléon’s minister of police, Joseph Fouché, Napoléon decided in 1801 to restore slavery because he was swayed by various members of the colonial lobby in his government and because racial “prejudices . . . impaired the rectitude of his judgment” (Vol. 1, p. 181). Ridding himself of the supporters of General Jean Moreau by dispatching them to the killing fields of the Caribbean was also a goal, according to Fouché.

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                                                                            Early Imprints

                                                                            Napoleonic-era books and pamphlets on colonial matters are essential, in part because many were drafted by colonial veterans (see Early Politicized Overviews), but also because Napoléon claimed that he was influenced by the writings of colonial lobbyists (see Published Letters and Memoirs). Access to these books was once difficult outside major research libraries, but many of them are now easily accessible online through a variety of portals. Gallica and Google Books tend to be more comprehensive.

                                                                            Specific Policies of Napoléon

                                                                            Napoléon’s colonial policies in the Atlantic are a vast topic, which has been explored only in part. Some issues have attracted more attention from scholars for a variety of reasons. His role in the Restoration of Slavery, as well as his Racial Views and Deportations, appeal to a modern interest in the history of race and racism and are of particular interest to descendants of slaves in the French Caribbean today. The literature on the Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti), as well as the closely related topic of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), is also notable because that expedition was by far the largest of those undertaken by the Consulate. The issue of the Louisiana Purchase has garnered much interest among US scholars due to its relevance to US history. The various American Dreams after Napoleon’s Abdication also intersect with US history; that issue has also attracted scholars fascinated with the Napoleonic epic and the individual lives of the people involved in that epic.

                                                                            Racial Views and Deportations

                                                                            Some scholars, in works such as Martin 1987, once emphasized Napoléon’s ties to the abolitionist movement, but most now depict him as racially prejudiced, in keeping with the overall growth of “scientific” racism in France in the 18th and 19th centuries, documented in Boulle 2007; the author of Ribbe 2005 even denounces him as a precursor to Adolf Hitler. In this context, people of African descent found no place in Napoléon’s army and most were demoted (Gainot 2007), including fascinating figures like Alex Dumas (Reiss 2012) and Jean Kina (Geggus 2002), deported from Haiti (Auguste and Auguste 1979) to places like Corsica (Arzalier 1993), or even reenslaved.

                                                                            • Arzalier, Francis. “Déportés haïtiens et guadeloupéens en Corse (1802–1814).” Annales Historiques de la Révolution française 293–294 (1993): 469–490.

                                                                              DOI: 10.3406/ahrf.1993.1586Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              In exploring the fate of officers of color sent from Saint-Domingue and Guadeloupe to do forced labor in Corsica, Arzalier aimed to make a larger point: Napoléon and his minister of the navy, Denis Decrès, were racists who decided as early as 1799 to renege on the racial reforms of the French Revolution.

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                                                                              • Auguste, Claude Bonaparte, and Marcel Bonaparte Auguste. Les déportés de Saint-Domingue: Contribution à l’histoire de l’expédition française de Saint-Domingue, 1802–1803. Sherbrooke, QC: Naaman, 1979.

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                                                                                This book, the authors of which, unusually, are Haitians named Bonaparte, covers the deportation of hundreds of officers of color from the Caribbean, per Napoléon’s instructions (reproduced in Roussier 1937 [cited under Published Letters and Memoirs]), when he attempted to restore white rule in 1802–1803. Some were sent to prisons or disciplinary units in France, others to various locations in the Americas, and some were even sold as slaves. See also Léo Elisabeth, “Déportés des petites Antilles françaises, 1801–1803,” in Bénot and Dorigny 2003 (cited under the Restoration of Slavery).

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                                                                                • Boulle, Pierre H. Race et esclavage dans la France de l’Ancien Régime. Paris: Perrin, 2007.

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                                                                                  In this anthology of his essays, Boulle argued that racism in France predated the so-called scientific racism of the 19th century. Deeply engrained in Caribbean colonies in the 18th century, racism was also prevalent among metropolitan France’s elites by the time of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. For more on blacks in revolutionary and Napoleonic France, see Sue Peabody and Tyler Stovall, eds., The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003).

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                                                                                  • Gainot, Bernard. Les officiers de couleur dans les armées de la République et de l’Empire, 1792–1815. Paris: Karthala, 2007.

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                                                                                    The officers of color studied by Gainot underwent three phases in their career: discrimination under the Old Regime and the early French Revolution, promotion and equality in the second half of the 1790s, and then demotion and deportation with the advent of the Consulate. See Reiss 2012 for the case of Alex Dumas and Geggus 2002 for the case of Jean Kina.

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                                                                                    • Geggus, David Patrick. “Slave, Soldier, Rebel: The Strange Career of Jean Kina.” In Haitian Revolutionary Studies: Blacks in the Diaspora. By David Patrick Geggus, 137–156. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                      This article, first published in 1980, covers the career of Jean Kina, who was imported from Africa to Saint-Domingue as a slave. During the Haitian Revolution, he obtained his freedom and served in the British army in Jamaica and Martinique, until he was deported to France in 1802. But persons of color were not welcome in Napoléon’s world by that point, so Kina was jailed in the Fort of Joux alongside Toussaint Louverture (see Girard 2014 [cited under Published Letters and Memoirs).

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                                                                                      • Martin, Jean. “Esclavage.” In Dictionnaire Napoléon. Edited by Jean Tulard, 673. Paris: Fayard, 1987.

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                                                                                        This short piece is valuable only as an example of the traditional, laudatory scholarship on Napoléon that has fallen out of favor since the 1990s: Napoléon’s instinct as first consul, Martin argues, was to maintain the 1794 French law of abolition and even to expand it to colonies like Martinique where it had not taken effect. He changed his mind, reluctantly, only at the urging of his wife Joséphine and other members of the colonial lobby.

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                                                                                        • Reiss, Tom. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. New York: Broadway Books, 2012.

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                                                                                          This book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, makes two main points. First, Alexandre Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo was based on his father, a mixed-race general born in Saint-Domingue. Second, General Dumas’s life exemplified the shift from a revolutionary France that welcomed people of color as equals to a Napoleonic era that rescinded their rights. On the same topic, see Eric Martone, Finding Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas and the French Atlantic World (Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 2018).

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                                                                                          • Ribbe, Claude. Le crime de Napoléon. Paris: Privé, 2005.

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                                                                                            Ribbe used historical evidence selectively to hammer home his point: Napoléon’s policies in the Caribbean, which included quasi-genocidal campaigns in Saint-Domingue and Guadeloupe, were no better than those of Adolf Hitler in World War II (the book’s cover features a photograph of Hitler visiting Napoléon’s tomb in 1940). Despite its scholarly shortcomings, the book did much to raise awareness of Napoléon’s Atlantic policies among the general reading public in France. About the book’s impact, see Dwyer 2008 (cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches).

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                                                                                            The Restoration of Slavery

                                                                                            The restoration of slavery, enshrined in a 20 May 1802 law, was Napoléon’s most momentous and notorious Atlantic policy, yet numerous issues remain a matter of debate. Was he responding to lobbying by his wife Joséphine and other colonists who wished to profit from plantation slavery or was he more concerned by the strategic implications of black officers’ policies in the Caribbean? Did he decide to restore slavery as soon as he took office in 1799, or only after years of hesitation? Was he planning to restore slavery in all French colonies, including Saint-Domingue, or only some? On which date did he actually restore slavery in Guadeloupe and French Guiana? What about the slave trade? The traditional view of Napoléon as a closet abolitionist, espoused in Martin 1987 (cited under Racial Views and Deportations), is now discredited, so a majority of scholars today, including in works such as Bénot and Dorigny 2003, Champion 2003, and Dubois 2004, argue that he made a decision early on, based on economic reasons and in collusion with the planter lobby, to restore slavery in all French colonies. Through a close examination of the archival record, however, a post-revisionist school that includes Girard 2009, Niort and Richard 2009, and Wanquet 1998 now describes Napoléon’s policies as complex and conflicted: torn between multiple goals (strategic and economic), Napoléon adapted his policies to each individual colony and proceeded tentatively in the period from 1799 to 1802. Daget 1971 also shows how Napoléon ultimately reversed himself on the issue of the slave trade in 1815. Alternate approaches eschew this dichotomy altogether by studying the longue durée of slavery through the prism both of biography, such as Scott and Hébrard 2012, and of the law, such as Spieler 2012.

                                                                                            • Bénot, Yves, and Marcel Dorigny, eds. Rétablissement de l’esclavage dans les colonies françaises, 1802: Ruptures et continuités de la politique coloniale française, 1800–1830; Aux origines d’Haïti; Actes de colloque international tenu à l’université de Paris VIII les 20, 21 et 22 juin 2002. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2003.

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                                                                                              Several essays in this collection, including Thomas Pronier’s “L’implicite et l’explicite dans la politique de Napoléon,” argue that Napoléon was a racist who decided to restore slavery as early as 1799. But Frédéric Régent’s “Le rétablissement de l’esclavage” shows that the process was actually far messier in Guadeloupe: slavery was restored gradually in 1802–1803 to minimize the public backlash, a conclusion consistent with that found in Niort and Richard 2009.

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                                                                                              • Champion, Jean-Marcel. “30 Floréal Year X: The Restoration of Slavery by Bonaparte.” In The Abolitions of Slavery: From Léger Félicité Sonthonax to Victor Schoelcher, 1793, 1794, 1848. Edited by Marcel Dorigny, 229–236. New York: Berghahn, 2003.

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                                                                                                Champion noted the multiplicity of policies envisioned by Napoléon for France’s various colonies in 1799–1801, but otherwise he embraced the dominant revisionist school, namely, that in league with the colonial lobby, Napoléon made a concerted effort to restore slavery throughout the French colonial empire in 1802.

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                                                                                                • Daget, Serge. “L’abolition de la traite des noirs en France de 1814 à 1831.” Cahiers d’Études Africaines 11.41 (1971): 14–58.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.3406/cea.1971.2811Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Though he restored the slave trade in 1802, Napoléon also abolished it in March 1815, during the Hundred Days. The decree had little practical impact in the short term, but, along with British pressures, it forced the Bourbons to agree to the principle of an abolition of the slave trade in the peace settlements of 1815.

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                                                                                                  • Dubois, Laurent. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                    Like Dubois 2004 (cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches), this book, which focuses on the revolutionary era in Guadeloupe, places colonial events within the larger context of Enlightenment principles: slave revolt in Guadeloupe forced France to extend citizenship to black freedmen, until Napoléon reneged on these generous promises and restored slavery in 1802–1803. An earlier version of this book was published as Les esclaves de la République: L’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation, 1789–1794 (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1998).

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                                                                                                    • Girard, Philippe. “Napoléon Bonaparte and the Emancipation Issue in Saint-Domingue, 1799–1803.” French Historical Studies 32.4 (Fall 2009): 587–618.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1215/00161071-2009-010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      In contradistinction with most of the scholarship, the article underlines the great degree of hesitation that underpinned Napoléon’s thinking on slavery. He seriously considered employing black freedmen as soldiers (see Roederer 1942 [cited under Published Letters and Memoirs]), abandoning that plan in 1801 only when he concluded that black officers could not be trusted. Even then, he pursued a multifaceted policy that left open the possibility of preserving emancipation in Saint-Domingue while restoring or maintaining slavery in other French colonies.

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                                                                                                      • Niort, Jean-François, and Jérémy Richard. “À propos de l’arrêté consulaire du 16 juillet 1802 et du rétablissement de l’ancien ordre colonial (spécialement de l’esclavage) à la Guadeloupe.” Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire de la Guadeloupe 152 (January–April 2009): 31–59.

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                                                                                                        The restoration of slavery in Guadeloupe in 1802 was shrouded in secrecy due to its controversial nature. The 20 May 1802 law specified that the status of Guadeloupe would be settled in a later decree, which was drafted in July but never published. The sole copy of that decree, in Napoléon’s hand, was presumed lost until it was discovered and reproduced in Niort and Richard’s article.

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                                                                                                        • Scott, Rebecca J., and Jean M. Hébrard. Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674065161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          In keeping with a recent biographical trend in Atlantic history (see Landers 2010 [cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches]), the authors chose not to examine the policy objectives of elite figures like Napoléon; rather, they examine the impact of the restoration of slavery by focusing on a family of African descent who tried to maintain their freedom as they traveled from Saint-Domingue to Cuba and Louisiana.

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                                                                                                          • Spieler, Miranda Frances. Empire and Underworld: Captivity in French Guyana. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674062870Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Spieler argued that penal, labor, and deportation laws in French Guiana (Guyane) put in place an oppressive legal regime for convicts and black laborers in France and Guiana. Accordingly, the restoration of slavery in 1802 in Guiana was not as dramatic as it would seem because forced labor had never truly disappeared. On this topic, see also Serge Mam Lam Fouck, “La résistance au rétablissement de l’esclavage en Guyane française: Traces et regards, 1802–1822,” in Bénot and Dorigny 2003, pp. 251–276.

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                                                                                                            • Wanquet, Claude. La France et la première abolition de l’esclavage, 1794–1802: Le cas des colonies orientales Île de France (Maurice) et la Réunion. Paris: Karthala, 1998.

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                                                                                                              Though its title refers to the Indian Ocean colonies of Mauritius and Réunion, Wanquet’s massive opus, in fact, retraces all of Napoléon’s colonial policies during the Consulate. Wanquet’s extensive research emphasizes the long and tortuous process that eventually led Napoléon to forsake abolition by 1802.

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                                                                                                              The Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti)

                                                                                                              The Leclerc expedition to Saint-Domingue looms large in the historiography, for good reasons: it was the largest expedition of Napoléon’s reign and cost the lives of 43,000 French soldiers and sailors, including Napoléon’s brother-in-law (Haitian losses are estimated at 100,000). His policies in Saint-Domingue, accordingly, are a frequent subtext in the historiography on Racial Views and Deportations, the Restoration of Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase. Many early works were written by veterans of the expedition, such as Hassal 1808, written by a female civilian, and Lacroix 1819, authored by a French general (see also Early Politicized Overviews). The topic has continued to garner interest in Haiti; see Nemours 1925 and Auguste and Auguste 1985. Outside of Haiti, however, few modern scholars tackled the topic until Girard 2011.

                                                                                                              • Auguste, Claude Bonaparte, and Marcel Bonaparte Auguste. L’expédition Leclerc, 1801–1803. Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Henri Deschamps, 1985.

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                                                                                                                The best of the recent works on the Leclerc expedition published in Haiti, this book broke no new ground. Like Nemours 1925, it covers the military aspects of the war in considerable detail and lionizes Haiti’s founding fathers.

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                                                                                                                • Girard, Philippe R. The Slaves Who Defeated Napoléon: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of Independence. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                  Drawing from extensive multi-archival research, Girard is more sympathetic toward Napoléon than scholars in works such as Dubois 2004 (cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches). While acknowledging the many atrocities committed by the French army in Saint-Domingue, Girard underlines the tentative nature of Napoléon’s policies, who considered maintaining semi-free labor in Saint-Domingue (see also Girard 2009 [cited under the Restoration of Slavery]). Published in France as Ces esclaves qui ont vaincu Napoléon: Toussaint Louverture et la guerre d’indépendance haïtienne (Rennes, France: Les Perséides, 2013).

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                                                                                                                  • Hassal, Mary [a.k.a. Leonora Sansay]. Secret History; Or, the Horrors of St. Domingo, in a Series of Letters, Written by a Lady at Cape François. Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1808.

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                                                                                                                    The book ostensibly reproduced letters written by an American lady who lived in Saint-Domingue during the Leclerc expedition. But the real author was actually a writer who dramatized the events for literary effect—though she indeed spent time in Saint-Domingue during the Haitian war of independence, making for a titillating roman à clef that is part fiction, part autobiography, and part history. On Hassal’s true identity, see Joan Dayan, Haiti, History, and the Gods (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).

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                                                                                                                    • Lacroix, Pamphile de. Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de la révolution de Saint-Domingue. 2 vols. Paris: Pillet, 1819.

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                                                                                                                      Lacroix’s account is the best of the various memoirs written by French veterans of the expedition (see Early Politicized Overviews). It is remarkably balanced, underlining the strategic mistakes of Napoléon and Leclerc as well as the bravery of Haitian troops. One scene recounted the reaction of a brigadier chief when he became convinced that Napoléon would restore slavery: “My daughters, my poor daughters . . . slaves . . . Oh! I would die of grief’” (Vol. 2, p. 108).

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                                                                                                                      • Nemours, Auguste. Histoire militaire de la guerre d’indépendance de Saint-Domingue. 2 vols. Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1925.

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                                                                                                                        Written by a Haitian colonel and diplomat, this book covers the military aspects of the expedition extensively. The author adopts a nationalistic perspective, both of which are typical of Haitian scholarship, including Auguste and Auguste 1985 as well as Ardouin 1853–1860 (cited under Historiographical Neglect). Accordingly, the expedition is portrayed as an epic in which courageous Haitians successfully prevailed in a struggle for freedom and independence while Napoléon’s troops were trying to reenslave or murder them.

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                                                                                                                        The Louisiana Purchase

                                                                                                                        Napoléon’s decision to sell Louisiana to the United States is possibly the best-known aspect of his Atlantic policies. Historians have focused on his motives and identified three: the repercussions of the Saint-Domingue expedition, Thomas Jefferson’s skillful diplomacy, and the renewal of the war with Britain. US specialists who have published extensively on a topic of great relevance to US history, in works such as DeConde 1976, Kukla 2003, and Labbe 1998, tend to emphasize Jefferson’s role, while specialists of Haiti and many modern scholars, in works such as Paquette 1997 and Lachance 2001, emphasize the impact of French setbacks in Saint-Domingue (Geggus 2016 is an exception). The fate of refugees from the Haitian Revolution who settled in New Orleans in 1809 constitutes a secondary focus of inquiry, which is studied in Dessens 2007 and Lachance 2001, among other works.

                                                                                                                        • DeConde, Alexander. This Affair of Louisiana. New York: Scribners, 1976.

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                                                                                                                          The Louisiana Purchase, in DeConde’s retelling, marked the culmination of two years of prodding by US policymakers that finally bore fruit in 1803.

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                                                                                                                          • Dessens, Nathalie. From Saint-Domingue to New Orleans: Migration and Influences. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                            Dessens argued that the people who migrated from Saint-Domingue to Louisiana in 1809, whether they were black, white, or mixed race, had a lasting influence on the cultural makeup of the various racial components of that city. On one of these families, see also Scott and Hébrard 2012 (cited under the Restoration of Slavery).

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                                                                                                                            • Geggus, David. “The Louisiana Purchase and the Haitian Revolution.” In The Haitian Revolution and the Early United States: Histories, Textuality, Geographies. Edited by Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Michael Drexler, 117–130. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.

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                                                                                                                              After a thorough examination of the scholarship and the evidence, Geggus concludes that three factors contributed to Napoléon’s decision to sell Louisiana: the war with Britain, Jefferson’s prodding, and military setbacks in Saint-Domingue. The first factor was crucial according to Geggus, who also concludes that the third has been overemphasized by other scholars in works such as Girard 2011 (cited under the Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti)).

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                                                                                                                              • Kukla, Jon. A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America. New York: A. A. Knopf, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                Like DeConde 1976, Kukla drew mostly from US archives and focused primarily on the actions of Jefferson’s envoys in Paris to explain why Napoléon sold the colony to the United States.

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                                                                                                                                • Labbe, Dolores Egger, ed. The Louisiana Purchase and Its Aftermath, 18001830. Vol. 3. Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                  Essays in this collection, notably those by Merrill D. Peterson, Ronald D. Smith, and Albert Bowman, attributed Napoléon’s decision to sell Louisiana to pressure by the United States; setbacks in Saint-Domingue came a close second.

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                                                                                                                                  • Lachance, Paul. “Repercussions of the Haitian Revolution in Louisiana.” In The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World. Edited by David P. Geggus, 209–230. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                    Like Dessens 2007, Lachance found that 19th-century Louisiana had deep ties to Saint-Domingue because of the number of colonists, free people of color, and slaves from Saint-Domingue who settled in Louisiana. Lachance also attributed the Louisiana Purchase to the failure of the expedition to Saint-Domingue.

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                                                                                                                                    • Paquette, Robert L. “Revolutionary Saint Domingue in the Making of Territorial Louisiana.” In A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean. Edited by David P. Geggus and David B. Gaspar, 204–225. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                      Like Lachance 2001, Paquette underlined the profound impact of the Haitian Revolution on the history of Louisiana. The outbreak of revolution in Haiti convinced Napoléon to dispose of the colony, the consequences provided numerous settlers, and the event was a possible source of inspiration for the slaves who took part in the 1811 German Coast rebellion.

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                                                                                                                                      Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)

                                                                                                                                      Though it always paled in comparison with its richer and more populated neighbor in Saint-Domingue, the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) constituted an integral part of Napoléon’s Caribbean schemes. France obtained the colony from Spain under the treaty of Basel in 1795 but never actually took possession, so its status was still in limbo when Napoléon seized power in 1799. Concerned that Toussaint Louverture was growing too powerful in Saint-Domingue, Napoléon ordered him not to take over the colony. Louverture did so anyway, which was one of the reasons Napoléon decided to remove him from office. Santo Domingo was occupied by Napoléon’s troops as part of the Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti) in 1802 and remained in French hands until 1809, long after Haiti’s independence. Traditional military histories, such as Del Monte y Tejada 1952, Lemonnier-Delafosse 1846, and Picó 2012, long dominated, as did diplomatic histories, such as Demorizi 1958 and Schaeffer 1949. Modern historians, in works such as Eller 2016 and Nessler 2016, now prefer to focus on the long-term repercussions of the Haitian Revolution for the slaves of Santo Domingo.

                                                                                                                                      • Del Monte y Tejada, Antonio. Historia de Santo Domingo. 4 vols. Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic: [s.n.], 1952.

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                                                                                                                                        Originally published in 1890. Written by a Spanish veteran of the revolutionary era, the book contains key eyewitness accounts of a turbulent period that saw Santo Domingo go from Spanish to Haitian to French hands, only to repeat the process again. The tone, as is often found with the Dominican elite, is hostile to black Haitians.

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                                                                                                                                        • Demorizi, Emilio Rodríguez, ed. Cesión de Santo Domingo a Francia. Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic: Impresora Dominicana, 1958.

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                                                                                                                                          Consisting mostly of documents drawn from Spanish colonial archives, the book contains many useful primary sources authored by leading French and Spanish colonial officials. Like Del Monte y Tejada 1952, the book is notable for its nationalistic, anti-Haitian tone. For other documents that took the story to the end of French rule in 1809, see Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi, La era de Francia en Santo Domingo: Contribución a su estudio (Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic: Editora del Caribe, 1955).

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                                                                                                                                          • Eller, Anne. We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1215/9780822373766Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Traditional histories, such as Del Monte y Tejada 1952 and Demorizi 1958, tend to pit Haiti and the Dominican Republic as rivals with a long history of enmity, but Eller took a different view in moving away from the island’s elite to focus on the enslaved population of Hispaniola, who waged a common struggle for emancipation during and after the Napoleonic era.

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                                                                                                                                            • Lemonnier-Delafosse, Jean-Baptiste. Seconde campagne de Saint-Domingue du 1 décembre 1803 au 15 juillet 1809, précédée de souvenirs historiques et succints de la première campagne. Le Havre, France: Brindeau et Compagnie, 1846.

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                                                                                                                                              The author, a French officer who took part in the occupation of Santo Domingo in 1803–1809, was hostile to white colonists, whom he described as racist and treasonous, and blacks, whom he described in disparaging terms even as he admired their courage. For another account by a French veteran, see Gilbert Guillermin, Journal historique de la révolution de la partie de l’Est de Saint-Domingue, commencée le 10 août 1808 (Philadelphia: Lafourcade, 1810).

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                                                                                                                                              • Nessler, Graham. An Islandwide Struggle for Freedom: Revolution, Emancipation, and Reenslavement in Hispaniola, 1789–1809. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626864.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This well-researched work shows that the status of the slaves of Santo Domingo was always murky. Louverture, despite his commitment to universal emancipation, tried to revive the plantation system in Santo Domingo, while Napoléon and his generals pursued deceptive policies as they restored it unofficially. In this context, “apparent ruptures of the Haitian Revolution begin to appear less pronounced” (p. 192), a process reminiscent of French Guiana (see Spieler 2012, cited under the Restoration of Slavery).

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                                                                                                                                                • Picó, Fernando. One Frenchman, Four Revolutions: General Ferrand and the Peoples of the Caribbean. Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                  This book provides a traditional and generally sympathetic biography of Louis Ferrand, who governed Santo Domingo in France’s name following the independence of Haiti. Picó generally downplayed Ferrand’s more controversial measures, such as his policy of kidnapping Haitians across the border to sell them as slaves. On independent Haiti’s attempts to defend themselves from such aggressive French policies, see Ada Ferrer, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

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                                                                                                                                                  • Schaeffer, Wendell. “The Delayed Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France, 1795–1801.” Hispanic American Historical Review 29.1 (February 1949): 46–68.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2508293Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Though a bit old, this article gives a precise and concise overview of the diplomatic controversies pertaining to the status of Santo Domingo from the time of the peace of Basel in 1795 to the period of the Consulate.

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                                                                                                                                                    American Dreams after Napoleon’s Abdication

                                                                                                                                                    The downfall of Napoléon in 1814–1815, then his exile to St. Helena, did not put an end to his interest in the wider Atlantic world. Murat 1981 and Stroud 2005 deal with plans by Napoléon to settle in the United States, where several siblings lived. Former officers of Napoléon also devised a variety of schemes to re-create a Napoleonic empire in the Americas, including in Alabama (Blaufarb 2005), Spanish Latin America (Ocampo 2009), and Texas (Terrien 2013). Most of these plans, like earlier ones by Napoléon described in Bénot 1992 (cited under Modern Atlantic Approaches), were poorly thought out and proved ineffective.

                                                                                                                                                    • Blaufarb, Rafe. Bonapartists in the Borderlands: French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                      After Napoléon’s downfall, some of his officers set up a wine-growing colony in Alabama. Rejecting previous works that claimed that the colony failed because the officers were unwilling to till the land, Blaufarb showed that the participants never intended to become farmers in the first place. Instead, they planned to speculate on the value of the land and resell it quickly. Some officers then became local cotton planters while others joined Charles Lallemand’s Champ d’Asile in Texas (see Terrien 2013).

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                                                                                                                                                      • Murat, Inès. Napoleon and the American Dream. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                        This book, though it does not follow the norms of modern historical scholarship, provides a good overview of the many ways in which dreams of America featured in Napoléon’s life. Two of his brothers spent time in the United States, many of his former officers planned elaborate American schemes, and Napoléon seriously considered beginning a new life as a naturalist in the United States after the defeat at Waterloo. Originally published as Napoléon et le rêve américain (Paris: Fayard, 1976).

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                                                                                                                                                        • Ocampo, Emilio. The Emperor’s Last Campaign: A Napoleonic Empire in America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                          The book covers the many plots after Napoléon’s exile: they aimed at arranging his escape from St. Helena and creating a new Napoleonic empire in Latin America. While based on research in US, Spanish, British, and French archives and filled with vignettes on fascinating adventurers, the book falls short in trying to prove that Napoléon, who comes across as reluctant throughout, actually supported any of these plans.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Stroud, Patricia Tyson. The Man Who Had Been King: The American Exile of Napoleon’s Brother Joseph. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                            After Napoléon’s downfall, his brother Joseph settled in a mansion at Point Breeze, New Jersey, that was notable for its collection of European art, including a daring statue of his sister Pauline, who had followed her husband in the Leclerc Expedition to Saint-Domingue (Haiti). (Other siblings of Napoléon with a US connection included Jérôme, who participated in the Leclerc expedition and then married a woman from Baltimore, and Lucien, who twice tried to immigrate to the United States.)

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                                                                                                                                                            • Terrien, Yevan Erwan. “‘A Motley Collection of All Nations’: The Napoleonic Soldiers of Champ d’Asile as Citizens of the World.” Atlantic Studies 10.1 (2013): 89–108.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2013.764081Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              A group of former Napoleonic officers settled in Champ d’Asile, Texas, in 1818. Their goal was to create a utopian society that united people of all nations, including blacks and Native Americans. On Champ d’Asile, see also Betje Black Klier, Pavie in the Borderlands: The Journey of Theodore Pavie to Louisiana and Texas, 1829–1830, Including Portions of His Souvenirs atlantiques (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000).

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