Author Topic: Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence  (Read 1986 times)

lagatta

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Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence
« on: April 02, 2010, 08:03:34 AM »
Wow!

Sitting at a quiet table in the British National Archives in London earlier this year, Canadian graduate student Julia Gaffield opened a bound book of documents from 1804 and unearthed the only known printed copy of Haiti’s Declaration of Independence.

(...)

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Quote
The language in the document has the fiery passion of a Hollywood script, calling on Haitians “to vow to ourselves, to posterity, to the entire universe, to forever renounce France, and to die rather than live under its domination.” Far from a dull historical treatise, it calls on Haitians to “live independent or die.”

Ian E. Wilson, president of the International Council on Archives, said he had expected the document to resemble the American declaration.

“I thought it would be a nice statement of founding principles,” he said. “It’s rather a strong piece of anti-colonial language. It indicates the kind of issues Haiti has been through, and it’s been issue after issue for 200 years.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le1521036/
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 09:27:10 AM »
I wonder what the legalities of getting the document back to Haiti are. Both the archives and the UK government would have an interest (as they did in the BNA Act, eg), although I should think that both would be happy to see the document go back.

The intro to the report, while dramatic, is a little misleading. Gaffield knew what she was looking for, probably knew just which binder or at least set of binders to look in (because she knew who the two colonial officials involved in the exchange were).

Mandos

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Re: Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2010, 12:35:35 PM »
Haven't the British been rather reticent in returning other people's artifacts?  I vaguely recall something about the Elgin marbles.

skdadl

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Re: Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 12:43:14 PM »
All the imperial powers have been reluctant to return plundered treasures. If you start down that path, there's a lot of stuff that would be crisscrossing back and forth across the seas.

In this case, though, I think the UK would recognize the importance of repatriating a constitutional document. They were cool with losing the BNA Act.

Boom Boom

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Re: Grad student uncovers Haiti Declaration of Independence
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 01:12:20 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
All the imperial powers have been reluctant to return plundered treasures. If you start down that path, there's a lot of stuff that would be crisscrossing back and forth across the seas.

Star with the friggin' Vatican - billions of dollars worth of stolen property there, if not trillions, so I've heard.

 

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