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Download Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John D. Garrigus (auth.) PDF

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By John D. Garrigus (auth.)

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Extra resources for Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue

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38 Another reason French colonists hated militia service was that few of them, before 1763, had much experience with it. In France, exemptions were so widely available during the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century that for every 100,000 French people, only about 200 men served at arms. 40 Established colonists and immigrants alike resented the time they sacrificed to guard duty and reviews every two months. Planters ignored orders that inconvenienced them or requisitioned their slaves to build fortifications.

89 Saint-Domingue’s colonists, however, were not concerned with limiting the size or wealth of their free population of color. 90 Nor did they ever prohibit whites from marrying people of color. The complex social realities of frontier slavery, described below, account for this important omission. Unlike colonists, Saint-Domingue’s royal governors did worry about unrestricted manumission and tried repeatedly to limit masters’ powers in this realm. In the early 1700s they claimed that freedmen disrupted the slave system, insulted colonists, dealt in stolen property, sold alcohol to slaves, and sheltered maroons.

55 Smugglers were eager to buy sugar but they also paid well for cacao, which they sold to chocolate makers in Europe and Spanish America. Like tobacco in the early seventeenth century, cacao was a crop small farmers could grow profitably, even without slave labor. ”56 Cacao trees flourished in Saint-Domingue’s mountain valleys, and Dominguan cacao was said to be as good as that from Caracas and Maricaibo. By 1708 the colony was producing enough to reduce the profits of Martiniquean growers. 59 At the dawn of the eighteenth century, smugglers may have been helping the planters of the Saint-Domingue Company build large slave estates, but they were also enabling the growth of a free population of color on this frontier.

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