About the Website

I created this website as a supplement to The Haitian Declaration of Independence in an Atlantic Context, a conference hosted and funded by the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. Since the conference, I have revised the website with the intention of sustaining a discussion about Haiti’s founding documents and their influences on the broader Atlantic.

You can find a summary of the conference at the Legal History Blog and you can also see a Twitter summary of the conference at David Armitage’s storified recap of the live tweeting from the conference (#HaitiDOI). Stay tuned for an edited volume entitled The Haitian Declaration of Independence, (University of Virginia Press, forthcoming Fall 2015).

Please send suggestions and feedback and be sure to comment on the blog!

About the Administrator: Julia Gaffield is a recent PhD from the Department of History at Duke University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Georgia State University. Her manuscript in progress studies Haiti’s connections with the empires, nations, and colonies of the Atlantic during the crucial first years after the Declaration of Independence on January 1, 1804.
Julia Gaffield, Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Layers of Recognition After 1804, (under review by the University of North Carolina Press).
David Armitage and Julia Gaffield, “‘We must live independent or die': The Haitian Declaration of Independence in an Atlantic Context,” in The Haitian Declaration of Independence, Julia Gaffield, ed., (UVA Press, forthcoming Fall 2015).
Julia Gaffield, editor, The Haitian Declaration of Independence, (UVA Press, forthcoming Fall 2015).
Julia Gaffield, “Haiti’s Declaration of Independence: Digging for Lost Documents in the Archives of the Atlantic World,” The Appendix, (2014) 2(1). (Also available in Haitian Kreyol!)
Julia Gaffield, “‘Liberté, Indépendance’: Haitian Antislavery and National Independence,” in A Global History of Anti-Slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century, William Mulligan and Maurice Bric, eds., (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013).
Julia Gaffield, “Haiti and Jamaica in the Remaking of the Early Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World,” William and Mary Quarterly, July 2012 69(3): 583-614.
Julia Gaffield, “‘Identif[ying] the Island in its new situation’: The struggle for Hayti to overcome St. Domingo,” Riveneuve Continents, Spring 2011 13: 80-86.
Julia Gaffield, “Complexities of Imagining Haiti: A Study of National Constitutions, 1801-1807Journal of Social History, Fall 2007 41(1): 81-103.

One Response to About the Website

  1. Charlotte Daniels says:

    Hi Julia,

    You probably already know about this but in case not, I wanted to send it along:

    From: Eric Van Grasdorff
    Subject: German Premiere of “Toussaint Louverture” with Filmmaker in
    Attendance, 24.11.2013, 17h00
    Date: Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Dear colleagues,
    please note this screening in Berlin, as it is the German premiere of
    a film that might be very interesting to many of you! Kind regards,

    German Premiere: „Toussaint Louverture“ with Director Philippe Niang
    in Attendance, Sunday, 24 November 2013, 17h00, Hackesche Höfe Kino

    On Sunday 24 Novembre 2013 at 17h00 AfricAvenir invites you to the
    German Premiere of the fiction film « Toussaint Louverture » by
    french-senegalese director Philippe Niang, the long overdue first
    fiction ever made about the man who, born into slavery, became a
    General in the French army and even defied Napoleon’s power by making
    his homeland, Haïti, the first independent Black State in the world,
    an abolitionist and anti-colonialist State. In three hours, director
    Philippe Niang draws a breathtaking historical epic which perfectly
    translates the complex personality of the hero of Haitian independence
    and of the liberation of Black peoples.

    “Director Philip Niang craftfully weaves the dynamic story of this
    emblematic and universal hero in a comprehensive, two-part drama,
    keeping you on the edge of your seat (…) This is a must-see for
    people of all origins.” Suzanne Gregoire, The Sentinel

    This three-hour screening will be opened by the Chargé dZAffaires of
    the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, Monsieur Patrick Saint-Hilaire.
    Due to the length of the film, it will be separated into two parts by
    a brief intermission and followed by a discussion with director
    Philippe Niang and the producers France Zobda & Jean-Lou Monthieux as
    well as by a small reception. The film is screened in French and
    Haitian Creole with English subtitles.

    We are at the end of the 18th century. The French revolution is
    brewing. All parts of the French territory are affected. An island,
    Saint-Domingue which will later become Haïti, thanks to one man, will
    take its destiny into its own hands. This man is Toussaint Louverture.
    A strong character imbued by democratic convictions and convinced by
    the values and potential new benefits of the nascent republic, he
    joins France after having fought with the Spanish, the British and
    after having refused the alliance with the American States. Some years
    later, he will even defy Napoleon’s power and will enable his
    homeland, Haïti, to become the first independent Black State in the
    world, an abolitionist and anti-colonialist State. From his prison at
    Fort de Joux, it is himself who will analyse with wisdom his own
    behaviour in the context of each situation. Not easy for this man who
    had to take and assume alone his often difficult decisions in an
    ambiguous historic and political context… Here is the story of a man
    who fought all his life against colonialism and slavery.

    More info here:



    Eric Van Grasdorff
    AfricAvenir International e.V.
    Kameruner Str. 1
    13351 Berlin

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