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?
To frame Julia Gaffield’s photos of the declaration here are several images and articles from the centennial. The first three are articles from the Port-au-Prince paper Le Soir. In preparing for the centennial Haiti’s intellectuals realized an original copy of the declaration could not be found in the National Archives. Thus, they made a call to locate it. These articles trace their research.
The fourth image is the final installment of a count down to 1 January 1904. Copies of Le Soir are at FIC Bibliothèque Haïtienne in Port-au-Prince.