Miami Peniel Church of the Nazarene / Eglise du Nazareen Peniel

Miami Peniel Church of the Nazarene-Eglise du Nazareen Peniel, Reverend Delanot Pierre, Pastor, (December 11, 1945, Ennery, Haiti — April 20, 2013, Miami, Florida). Rest in Peace.

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The Sufferings of Madame Toussaint

The widow of the unfortunate Toussaint has just landed upon our continent. Her account of her own and her husband’s sufferings, from Bonaparte’s tyranny, would be incredible, were they not already equaled by the Corsican’s former atrocities, and those of his accomplices. Her mutilated limbs and numerous wounds, are, besides, visible proofs of the racks and other instruments of torture from which she has suffered in the dungeons of free, enlightened, and civilized France, and under which, little doubt remains that General Toussaint expired.

From the moment Le Clerc, by perfidy and breach of treaties, got her husband and herself into his possession, they were loaded with chains, and during their whole passage to France, they continued in irons, with hardly food enough to support life. At their landing in Bourdeaux, they were separated, though shut in the same prison. What happened since to her husband she does not know, nor is she yet certain whether he has perished, as the French papers have published, in a dungeon at Besançon; or whether, with a mutilated body, he continues to breath the pestilential air of French gaols, exposed to the cruelties of, and enduring that refinement in torment which French ingenuity so ably invents, and of which Corsican barbarity so willingly makes use…

“An Account of the Wife of Toussaint L’Ouverture,” The Christian Observer(1804)

Image taken from Jean Ledan fils, “La saga de Mme Louverture,” Le Nouvelliste (May 25, 2012)

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The National City Bank of New York & Haiti

With American influence becoming so strong in Haiti through the United States permanent control and administration of customs, finances, etc., followed, as it naturally would be, by American investment in the island and increased trading between the two countries, it was natural that the National Bank, heretofore almost entirely in Europe, should pass into full American ownership. Being already interested in a small degree in the institution, The National City Bank with full faith in the future development of Haiti, contemplates acquiring the entire business of the bank, and, while its independent organization would continue, the bank’s affairs would be directed from New York instead of from Paris. This change will bring to the merchants of Haiti a full City Bank Service, and more adequate and efficient facilities to our merchants trading with the republic.

John H. Allen, “American Co-Operation Assures a Better Era for Haiti,” The Americas (May 1920)

To know the reasons for the present political situation in Haiti, to understand why the United States landed and has for five years maintained military forces in that country, why some three thousand Haitian men, women, and children have been shot down by American rifles and machine guns, it is necessary, among other things, to know that the National City Bank of New York is very much interested in Haiti. It is necessary to know that the National City Bank controls the National Bank of Haiti and is the depository for all of the Haitian national funds that are being collected by American officials, and that Mr. R. L. Farnham, vice-president of the National City Bank, is virtually the representative of the State Department in matters relating to the island republic.

James Weldon Johnson, Self-Determining Haiti (1920)

Citigroup’s history in Haiti is remembered as both among the most spectacular episodes of U.S. dollar diplomacy in the Caribbean and as an egregious example of officials in Washington working at the behest of Wall Street. It’s also a story marked by military intervention, violations of national sovereignty and the deaths of thousands.

“Where does Haiti fit in Citigroup’s Corporate History?” Bloomberg (June 2012)

Image: Cover of Le Matin (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), February 26, 1927: Source: Digital Library of the Caribbean.

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Marie-Louise Christophe, Queen of Haiti

The planters talked over their billiards and their wine, and the longer they played and the more they drank the more they talked. They said things not intended for slave ears. The wine loosened their tongues and blurred their intellects.

Christophe listened with amazement and then coolly digested what they said; and within the short tropic twilight told what had been said, with his disgusted reflections to Marie-Louise. It was as new to her as to Christophe. First it amazed her as it had her lover. Then she cogitated upon it. Then it was that Christophe became teacher.

What he had heard the planters say was that Saint Domingue was a powder barrel and liable to blow up at any time. There were, they said, twenty thousand planters with five hundred thousand black slaves, and between them were twenty-four thousand people neither white or black, and the three classes were opposed to each other. If the slaves ever found out the power of numbers, it would be death to the whites; also, if the jealousy of the mulattoes increased to the boiling point, so they could join the blacks, the boiling would become fiercer. But they were so jealous that they would not unite.

Marie-Louise listened and thought as she listened to Christophe.

“There may be a revolution,” she mused. “A black kingdom may take the place of the white one.”

Charles E. Waterman, Carib Queens (1935) [As transcribed by Bob Corbett]

Image: Aaron P. Garcia, Marie-Louise Christophe, Milot, Haiti, 2008.

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Jamaica and the Saint-Domingue Slave Revolt, 1791-1793

Leonard Parkinson, a Captain of Maroons.

When the slaves and free coloureds of Saint Domingue rebelled in the autumn of 17791, Jamaican society faced the greatest challenge of its history. The dramatic spectacle of violent self­liberation was acted out almost before the eyes of its blacks and mulattoes, while the ruling white elite experienced a dilemma that seemed to oppose its prosperity to its survival.

David Geggus, “Jamaica and the Saint Domingue Slave Revolt, 1791-1793,” The Americas 38 (October 1981): {pdf}

Image: Abraham Raimbach, “Leonard Parkinson, a captain of the Maroons,” B. Edwards, The Proceedings of the Governor and Assembly of Jamaica, in Regard to the Maroon Negroes… to which is prefixed an Introductory Account… of the Maroons (1796). Source: NYPL Digital Gallery. Also see: Nova Scotia Archives.

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez visits Haiti, December 3, 2007

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013).

*video via @dominique_e_ + @djaspora

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The Struggle for the Recognition of Haiti and Liberia as Independent Republics

The shield and emblem of Liberia as they might be.

If any good reason exists why we should persevere longer in withholding our recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Haiti and Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling, however, to inaugurate a novel policy in regard to them without the approbation of Congress, I submit to your consideration the expediency of an appropriation for maintaining a Chargé d’Affaires near each of these states. It does not admit of doubt that important commercial advantages might be secured by favorable treaties with them.

Abraham Lincoln (1871) quoted in Charles H. Wesley, “The Struggle for the Recognition of Haiti and Liberia as Independent Republics,” Journal of Negro History (October 1917)

Image: “The shield and emblem of Liberia as they might be.” From Sir Harry Johnston’s Liberia (1906). Source: New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

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Haiti: Cartography After the Quake

OpenStreetMap – Project Haiti from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

A visualisation of the response to the earthquake by the OpenStreetMap community. Within 12 hours the white flashes indicate edits to the map (generally by tracing satellite/aerial photography).

Over the following days a large number of additions to the map are made with many roads (green primary, red secondary) added. Also many other features were added such as the blue glowing refugee camps that emerge.

A lot of these edits were made possible by a number of satellite and aerial imagery passes in the days after the quake, that were release to the public for tracing and analysis.

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