Representatives of Each Race: Abolishing Inequalities in Colonial Politics
Philanthropic whites contributed politically to the Haitian Revolution. Some had an impact at critical junctures, such as when white radicals led various mobilization efforts, including the get-out-the-vote campaigns in 1793 to ratify the civil commissioners’ emancipation decrees. Others had a more subtle effect on the revolution through their continued political presence in Saint-Domingue before and during the Revolution. Despite their contributions, the literature has overlooked the role of colonial whites in Saint-Domingue’s revolution. Historians have focused upon the influence of whites from France, suggesting the politics of race came to the colony from the metropole, overlooking whites—some longtime residents of the colony—who participated in the revolutionary administrations alongside former slaves and men of color to achieve abolition and racial equality.