Please use this link to download
the Haitian Conference Program document:
Haitian-Program.doc (65KB)
(Document includes registration forms.)

To receive a printed version of the program and registration forms by post,
please send your name and postal address to:



An International Scholarly Conference

Organized by the

John Carter Brown Library

Thursday, June 17, to Sunday, June 20, 2004

Financial support for this conference has been provided
Brown University, President's Discretionary Fund
The Florence Gould Foundation
The Reed Foundation

with additional material assistance
The Newport Historical Society
Air France
The C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College


"THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION: VIEWED 200 YEARS AFTER "was organized to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Haitian Declaration of Independence of 1804. The conference focuses on the Revolutionary years, i.e., from the 1780s to ca. 1830. It does not venture into the later nineteenth- and twentieth-century history of Haiti. The goal of the conference is to analyze, recount, and interpret the immediate history of one of the most complex and consequential events in all of human history.

Although the upheaval in Haiti was clearly an outgrowth of the French Revolution, its significance is such that it stands alone as a subject that will always be deserving of close study and understanding. From it emerged the second republic in the New World and the first black republic anywhere.

Along with Brazil, Saint-Domingue was at the center of the Atlantic slave trade in the eighteenth century, but the oppressed Haitian laborers brought about the most successful, and by far the largest, of slave uprisings in the Americas, and perhaps in the history of the world. Yet few events at any time have been so extraordinarily complicated, in both the international politics and diplomacy that surrounded the Revolution and in the inter-racial politics on the island.

The contention between blacks, both free and slave; whites, both rich and poor (grands blancs and petits blancs); and people of mixed racial descent, free and enslaved, with one another and among themselves, are extremely tangled, requiring great skill to unravel. That independently Spain, England, and France each tried to suppress the Revolution adds further tragic drama to the story.

The reversal of fortune that afflicted Saint-Domingue, considered solely in economic terms, also has few precedents in human affairs and raises numerous questions. In the 1780s, under a vicious slave regime, Saint-Domingue was perhaps the greatest engine of wealth per square mile of any piece of real estate in the world, because of its sugar, coffee, and indigo production. Today Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas.

What happened in those years of mutually destructive slaughter, murder, fire, devastation, and ultimately race war and exile for all whites, has a profound military, social, economic, diplomatic, and political history, all needful of interpretation. For the United States alone, the consequences were enormous. Napoleon's defeat in Saint Domingue was a precipitant of his decision to sell the Louisiana Territory. Thus, the doubling in size of the little republic on the mainland was one surprising unintended result of the Haitian Revolution.

In addition, thousands of planters, merchants, and others from Haiti, including slaves, free blacks, and people of color, came to U. S. cities - Charleston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore - with a major impact on the politics of slavery in the United States and on urban centers in general.

In the Caribbean, the devastation on Saint-Domingue resulted in the loss of most of its sugar and coffee production to Jamaica, Cuba, and Brazil, along with French planters. In the latter two countries, reinforced by this emigration, slavery survived into the 1880s, and Cuba ultimately became the largest producers of sugar in the world.

The program committee for "The Haitian Revolution: Viewed 200 Years After" consisted of

 Philip P. Boucher, University of Alabama in Huntsville
 David Brion Davis, Yale University
 David Geggus, University of Florida
 Malick Ghachem, Stanford University
 Philip Morgan, Johns Hopkins Univesity
 Ashli White, Columbia University


An exhibition in the John Carter Brown Library, "The Haitian Revolution, 1789-1804,"will be on view from May 1 to October 1, 2004. The exhibition was prepared by Malick Ghachem.

A checklist of the Library's holdings relating to the history of Saint-Domingue from 1751 to 1834, a collection with few equals anywhere, is available on the Library's website: Haitian Checklist.



3:00 -6:30 p.m. Registration at the JCB

5:30 p.m. Reception at the JCB

6:30 p.m. Dinner at restaurants of choice

8:30 p.m. /Opening Session (Salomon 001)

Featured Address
Chair: Sidney Mintz, Johns Hopkins University

H. E. Jean Casimir, former Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti to the United States, 1991-1997: "From Saint-Domingue to Haiti: Vivre de nouveau ou vivre enfin"

FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2004

8:30 -10:00 a.m. Registration at the JCB

8:45 - 10:30 a.m. /Session I (Salomon 001)

Saint Domingue on the Eve of Revolution: Politics and     Economics

Chair: Philip P. Boucher, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville

David Geggus, Univ. of Florida: "The Colony of Saint-Domingue on the Eve of Revolution"

Gene Ogle, John Cabot Univ. (Rome): "Colonial Absolutism: Politics in Principle and Practice in Old Regime Saint Domingue"

Jacques de Cauna, Bordeaux: "Aperçus sur le système des habitations à Saint-Domingue à partir des vestiges subsistant en Haïti"

Commentator: David A. Bell

Coffee Break, 10:30-10:45 a.m. (Lobby)

10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. /Session II (Salomon 001)

Saint Domingue on the Eve of Revolution: The Free People of Color

Chair: Philip Morgan, Johns Hopkins Univ.

John D. Garrigus, Jacksonville Univ.: "Saint-Domingue's Free People of Color and the Tools of Revolution"

Stewart R. King, Mt. Angel Seminary (Oregon): "The Free People of Color in the Northern Province of Saint Domingue"

Dominique Rogers, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Martinique: "On the Road to Citizenship: The Complex Paths toward the Integration of Free People of Colour in the Two Capitals of Saint-Domingue"

Commentator: Jane Landers, Vanderbilt Univ.

Lunch, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. (Andrews Dining Hall)

2:30 - 4:15 p.m. /Session III (Salomon 001)

Unfolding of the Slave Revolution: Part One

Chair: Claude Moïse, Montreal

Yves Bénot, Paris: "The Slaves Uprising: What Were They Thinking?"

Malick Ghachem, Stanford Univ.: "The Colonial Vendée"

Elizabeth Colwill, San Diego State: "Fêtes de l'hymen,
fêtes de la liberté: Matrimony, Emancipation, and the Creation of 'New Men'".

Commentator: Christopher Leslie Brown, Rutgers Univ.

Reception, on the Green in front of the JCB , 5:00 - 6:15 p.m.

Dinner, 6:30-7:45 p.m. (Faculty Club)

8:00 - 9:00 p.m./ Session IV (Salomon 001)

Featured Address
Chair: Norman Fiering, John Carter Brown Library

Madison Smartt Bell, Goucher College: "The Stone That the Builder Refused"

8:45 -10:30 a.m. /Session V (Salomon 001)
Unfolding of the Slave Revolution: Part Two

Chair: Robin Blackburn, Univ. of Essex

Vertus Saint-Louis, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Haiti: "Law, Commerce, and Revolution in Saint-Domingue, 1789-1804"

Carolyn Fick, Concordia Univ.: "The Slave Revolution and the Unfolding of Independence in Saint-Domingue, 1801-1804"

Laurent Dubois, Michigan State Univ.: "Avenging America: The Politics of Violence in the Haitian Revolution"

Commentator: Julie Saville, Univ. of Chicago

Coffee Break, 10:30 - 10:45 a.m. (Lobby)

10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. /Session VI (Salomon 001)

Reverberations: Latin America and the Caribbean

Chair: Barrymore Bogues, Brown University

Julius Scott, Univ. of Michigan: "The Haitian Revolution at Sea"

Ada Ferrer, New York Univ.: "Repercussions of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, 1791-1812"

João José Reis, Universidade Federal de Bahia, and Flavio Gomes: "Repercussions of the Haitian Revolution in Brazil"

Commentator: Mimi Sheller, Lancaster Univ.

Excursion to Newport, 12:30 (with box lunch)
Black History in Newport, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. a tour led by Dr. Daniel Snydacker, formely Director, Newport Historical Society

4:30 - 6:15 p.m. /Session VII (Colony House in Newport)

Reverberations: The United States and France

Chair: Bernard Bailyn, Harvard Univ.

Ashli White, Columbia Univ.: "Exiles in the United States"

Jeremy D. Popkin, Univ. of Kentucky: "The French Revolution's Other Island: The Impact of Saint-Domingue on Revolutionary Politics"

Sue Peabody, Washington State Univ. Vancouver: "'Free Upon Higher Ground': Saint-Domingue Slaves' Suits for Freedom in U. S. Courts, 1792-1830"

Commentator: Seymour Drescher, Univ. of Pittsburgh

Dinner at restaurants of choice in Newport, 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.
Bus returns to Providence, 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 2004
9:00 - 10:45 a.m. /Session VIII (Barus-Holly 166)
Representations of the Revolution

Chair: Pierre Saint-Amand, Brown Univ.

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, California State Univ. – San Marcos, "The Specter of Saint-Domingue: The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the United States and France"

Léon-François Hoffmann, Princeton Univ.: "Representations of the Haitian Revolution in French Fiction"

Carlo Celius, Laval University, Quebec: "Neo-Classicism and the Haitian Revolution"

Commentator: Joan Dayan, Univ. of Pennsylvania

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. /Session IX (Barus-Holly 166)
Reviews and Responses: A Panel

Chair: David Brion Davis, Yale Univ.
Bernard Bailyn, Harvard Univ.
Robin Blackburn, Univ. of Essex
Seymour Drescher, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Sidney Mintz, Johns Hopkins Univ.


The John Carter Brown Library is on the main Green of the Brown University campus, at the corner of Brown and George Streets. The campus is only ten minutes from downtown Providence, but on top of a steep hill, and not easy walking if one is carrying luggage.

By Air
T. F. Green Airport in Warwick serves the city of Providence and is about 10 miles distant from the Brown University Campus. Most regional and national airlines have scheduled flights to Green. The airport shuttle to Providence hotels and to the Brown campus costs $9.00. Taxis cost about $25.00.

International travelers may find it most convenient to fly into Logan Airport in Boston. The Bonanza Bus Line has direct service from Logan to Providence every 90 minutes. Round-trip fare is $34. From the bus terminal it is best to take a taxi.

By Train
Nearly all Amtrak trains traveling the New York to Boston corridor stop at Providence. The Amtrak station is a ten-minute taxi ride from the Brown University campus.

By Auto
Interstate route 95 passes through Providence. To reach the campus, take the exit to I-195 East (Cape Cod). Take exit 1 from I-195 (downtown Providence), and follow the exit ramp along the river. At the second light (College Street), turn right. Proceed through the next light (South Main Street) and up the hill. When College Street ends at Prospect Street, you will be facing the Brown campus. Turn right on Prospect Street to reach George Street. Left on George Street to reach the JCB at the crest of the hill.

By Bus
Providence is served by Greyhound and Bonanza Bus lines. Their Providence terminals are a short cab ride from the campus.


Blocks of rooms have been reserved, at reduced conference rates, at the hotels listed below. Please indicate to the reservations clerk that you are in Providence for the Haiti conference. The deadline for all reservations is May 16, 2004.


Providence Biltmore Hotel, Kennedy Plaza. (800-294-7709 or 401-421-0700). The Biltmore is a full-service traditional hotel, located in the center of the city and about a 15-minute walk to the Brown University campus. The walk is up a very steep hill. $139 per night.

Radisson Hotel, 200 India St. (800-325-2525 or 401-272-5577). The Radisson is in a somewhat desolate warehouse area, but it does overlook Narragansett Bay. It is a 20-minute walk to the Brown University campus. $99 per night.

Campus dormitory rooms

Gregorian Quad Dormitory, 101 Thayer Street. (401-863-7300). Single beds, semi-private bathrooms. Click here for the dormitory registration form. $40 per night.

To print a copy of this registration form, please use this link to download the Haitian Conference Program document:
Haitian-Program.doc (65KB) The document includes this conference registration form and the dormitory registration form pages.


The registration fee for the Conference, including the bus trip to Newport, Rhode Island, is $120.00, through June 1, 2004. The registration fee after June 1 is $135.00. This includes two receptions, one luncheon, one dinner, and all coffee breaks, plus the bus fare to Newport and the box lunch on Saturday. The registration fee through June 1, 2004, excluding the bus trip to Newport and the box lunch, is $90.00. After June 1, the fee will be $105. The registration fee for one day is $40.00, plus $30.00 for the Newport excursion. Graduate students may register for the entire conference, including the Newport excursion, for $75.00, through June 1, 2004.

Address _______________________________________________________

Tel. ________________; E-mail ____________________________________

Registration Options
  Through June 1 After June 1
Conference in Providence $90.00 $105.00
Conference in Providence
plus Newport events
$120.00 $135.00
Graduate student rate $75.00 $105/$135
Single day attendance $40.00 $40.00
Newport excursion only  $30.00 $30.00


________I am registering for the entire conference before June 2, 2004. Herewith is payment of $120.

_______ I am registering for the conference before June 2, 2004, excluding the excursion to Newport. Herewith is payment of $90.

Total payment $ ___________.

Indicate: _________ vegetarian __________handicapped

Method of payment: ___ check ____ Master Card ____ Visa ____ American Express
Credit card # ______________________________________Expiration ____________
Signature _____________________________________________

Checks should be made payable to the John Carter Brown Library.

Please mail registration form with payment or credit card information to:
Events Office, John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Providence, RI 02912


To print a copy of the above registration form, please use this link to download the Haitian Conference Program document: Haitian-Program.doc (65KB). The document includes this conference registration form and the dormitory registration form pages.

Please click here to view or download a separate dormitory registration form. (Word .doc 24KB)

To receive a printed version of the program and registration forms by post, please send your name and postal address to:

THE JOHN CARTER BROWN LIBRARY is an independently funded and administered institution for advanced research in history and the humanities, located at Brown University since 1901. In order to facilitate and encourage use of the Library's outstanding collection of primary historical sources concerning the Americas from 1493 to ca. 1830, the Library offers fellowships, sponsors lectures and conferences, regularly mounts exhibitions for the public, and publishes catalogues, bibliographies, and other works that interpret its holdings. For further information about the Library, write to: Director, The John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Providence, Rhode Island, 02912 or visit The general address for electronic mail is Tel.: 401-863-2725; Fax: 401-863-3477.



Document last revised 26 April 2004