Electronic edition of the book "The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Negro Patriot of Hayti ..... " by Rev. John Kelly Beard (1800 - 1876).


Haiti's Presiddnet Boyer, an elite mulatto, once arrogantly stated, "Any man in Haiti can become president of the republic. Even that stupid black over there." Over there, in line with his pointing finger, was a  black officer of the guard, Faustin Soulouque. (It is felt by some that this is a tale; however, it is well established as part of the history of Haiti). The mulattoes did make him president on March1, 1847, as they needed someone weak and pliable whom they could use to continue to consolidate their power. He appeared to serve as their obedient puppet at first, but that was soon to change and he made himself Emperor Faustin I.

He quietly organized a private militia made up of extremely loyal blacks, the "zinglins", and suddenly proceeded to lash out against those who opposed him. He had his opponents, especially mulattoes, arrested, killed, and burnt out.

When he had disposed of most of his domestic enemies (he always unearthed more), he tried three times, but unsuccessfully, to take over Santo Domingo in order to reunite the island. The conquest of the other part of the island and securing Haiti from foreign influence was an important thrust of his administration and consumed much of their energy.

On August 26, 1849 he was proclaimed emperor. He was crowned on April 18, 1852.  After twelve years he was driven into exile in Jamaica in January, 1859.


Haiti and the United States both lay claim to Navassa Island. The dispute has surfaced again recently.


On January 1, 1804, triumphant slaves proclaimed the independence of the French colony of  Saint-Domingue and renamed it Haiti. Haiti therefore celebrates Independence Day on January 1.

The new name “Haiti”  was derived from "Ayiti",  meaning "home or mother of the earth" in the Taino-Arawak Native American language and "sacred earth or homeland" in the Fon African language.

In observance of the day, Haitians started eating pumpkin soup in defiance of a colonial French law that had allowed only the European French, and not the slaves, to eat soup. The French highly valued soup, and felt it was inappropriate for slaves to eat it.

Called Soup Joumou, this Haitian traditional soup always includes pumpkin, but may  also include beef, vegetables, parsley, carrots, onions and the like.