The Archive of Occupation

Citing the need to protect American life and property while preserving political stability in the Caribbean region, on July 28, 1915 three hundred and thirty United States Marines landed at Port-au-Prince. Thus began a nineteen-year military occupation whose consequences for the Republic of Haiti (and for the Black World) were arguably as significant as the struggle for Haitian independence that the onset of US rule extinguished. Thousands of peasants were massacred, financial control of the republic was ceded to Wall Street interests, martial law reigned, a puppet president was installed, and a country that was viewed as a beacon of Black sovereignty was reduced to an American colony. The historiography of 1915-1934 is a rich one. Roger Gaillard, Suzy Castor, Kethly Millet, Francois Blancpain, Rayford W. Logan, Hans W. Schmidt, Brenda Gayle Plummer, J. Michael Dash, Mary Renda, Leon Pamphile, and others have all written on the causes, conditions, and consequences of the occupation. Here, The Public Archive offers an incomplete collection of publicly available, open-access sources with the hope that the memory of the U.S. military occupation of Haiti is preserved and extended in this moment, one hundred years later.

United States. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States. Haiti. Political and Financial Affairs, 1914.

Treaty between the United States and Haiti. Finances, economic development and tranquility [!] of Haiti. Signed at Port-au-Prince, September 16, 1915.

Georges Sylvain, Dix années de lutte pour la liberté, 1915-1925.

Rapport de m. Louis Borno, secrétaire d’État des relations extérieures a S. E. Monsieur le président de la République d’Haiti. Tome 1er. Négociations diverses, réclamations et litiges diplomatiques, 1916.

Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1920.

Memoir on the Political Economic and Financial Conditions Existing in the Republic of Haiti under the American Occupation by the Delegates to the United States of the Union Patriotique d’Haiti, May 25, 1921.

Foreign Policy AssociationThe seizure of Haiti by the United States: A report on the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti and the history of the treaty forced upon her, 1922.

United States Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Haiti and Santo Domingo. Inquiry Into Occupation and Administration of Haiti and Santo Domingo, 1922.

Occupied Haiti: being the report of a committee of six disinterested Americans representing organizations exclusively American, who, having personally studied conditions in Haiti in 1926, favor the restoration of the independence of the negro republic, edited by Emily Greene Balch.

Arthur C. Millspaugh, Haiti under American control, 1915-1930.

Report of the President’s Commission for the Study and Review of Conditions in the Republic of Haiti, March 26, 1930.

Stenio Vincent, Sur la route de la seconde independance en compagnie du soldat et du citoyen haitiens (1934).

[Also see The Public Archive’s previous posts tagged “1915” and “intervention” as well the links posted by the Haiti Digital Library at Duke University’s Haiti Laboratory. The African American Intellectual History Society Blog is also regularly posting on the history of the occupation.]

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