Erin Zavitz’s post reminded me of a document that Patrick Tardieu shared with me a few years ago. It seems as though the Haitian government was not successful in finding a document in 1903 since they were still looking for it for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of independence. On Dec 31, 1952 Edmond Mangones wrote to La Commission des Sciences Sociales du Tricinquantenaire de l’Independance (The Commission of Social Sciences for the 150th Anniversary of Independence) to report on an original of the Acte de l’Independance and “ce que je pense au suject de sa disparition” (what I think on the subject of its dissapearance). Both the 1903 (from Zavitz’s post) and the 1952 reports suggest that a document might exist in the British Library/Museum (although neither could find one) but the printed versions that I found were at The National Archives of the United Kingdom. Mangones appears to be looking for a handwritten and signed original. Has anyone looked for versions in the British Library?
Deborah Jenson translated an excerpt from the text from Mangones’s report:
“You have asked me–and many others similarly preoccupied by the mystery of the original of our national Declaration of Independence–what I have concluded about its disappearance. [….] All searches to date have been in vain, as we know. [….] Our writers and intellectuals like Ardouin, Madiou, and St. Remy did not concern themselves with the fate of an original, […] or even with a printed copy from the original time period. […] It is really beyond belief that not even a copy of the original printed version has been found in France, or in England, or in the United States.”
Edmond Mangones on the 150th Anniversary of Haiti’s Independence